New Pork-Barrel Spending Detailed on SeeThroughNY

| Press Releases

A breakdown of 271 projects totaling $49 million has been added to the Empire Center’s exclusive SeeThroughNY online database of items lined up for funding under the State and Municipal Facilities Program, a $1.5 billion pork slush fund supported by borrowed money.

The Public Authorities Control Board is poised to authorize on Wednesday $210 million in bond issues by the Dormitory Authority to support SMFP.

A total of 915 projects totaling $286 million are now lined up to receiving funding from the program, which is administered by the Dormitory Authority. Projects awarded or awaiting SMFP funding reflect local political interests instead of state needs, and include:

  • $300,000 for skateboard parks in Albany, Newburgh and Nyack;
  • $247,000 for dog parks in Stony Point, Haverstraw and Henrietta;
  • $50,000 to restore a tugboat in Waterford;
  • $50,000 to relocate the Ernie Davis statue in Elmira;
  • $50,000 for an “ATV” (not further specified) for the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire District in Nassau County;
  • $50,000 for “an outdoor signage” for the Livingston Pumper Company #1 volunteer fire company in Columbia County;
  • $1.5 million for the “edible academy” at the New York Botanical Gardens; and
  • $12.3 million to reconstruct the road to the Whiteface Mountain ski facility

Of the $25 million that has actually been disbursed by SMFP to project recipients, more than three-quarters of the money has gone to projects connected to the network of SUNY Polytechnic subsidiaries whose contracting practices are being investigated by state and federal prosecutors. A total of $18.8 million has been paid to Fort Schuyler Management Corp. for construction of the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Utica, and to the Fuller Road Management Corp. for a silicon carbide facility in Albany.

The figure does not include an additional $82.4 million reportedly being used to address financing problems related to Fort Schuyler’s construction of the $750 million SolarCity factory in Buffalo. In addition to the SUNY Poly-related economic development, larger projects slated to receive SMFP funding include the Empire Outlets mall on Staten Island, which is receiving $25 million.  

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and do business.