Soaring Material Costs Prompt Bills in Albany

Inflation, Supply Shortages Causing Procurement Havoc

By JOHN JORDAN – May 25, 2022

ALBANY  — Many leading construction and general business associations in New York State are working with both chambers in Albany to pass a material price escalation bill to grant contractors “equitable relief” 

from the quickly escalating cost on many construction materials. The price hikes on materials and commodity costs contractors are facing were described as both “unprecedented” and “unforeseen spikes.”

The legislation pending in the State Senate (S.8844) and the Assembly (A.10109) sponsored by New York State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (D,WF, 38th District) and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-96th District) would provide some relief to firms who hold contracts with the state and public benefit corporations who experienced cost increases in excess of 5% for materials that were purchased or invoiced after March 1, 2020, related to contracts for which they submitted bids before April 1, 2020.

The legislation would include contracts with such agencies as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Economic Development Corp. and the Empire State Development Corp.

At press time, the Senate bill was before the Senate Finance Committee, while the Assembly bill was under consideration in the Ways and Means Committee.

The eligible contractors could apply for an adjustment to their contract to recoup the increased material costs. It would then be up to the agency and the State Comptroller to approve any increases in contract prices. In cases where contractors have suffered or will suffer net losses, the bill also provides that the State Office of General Services Commissioner would be authorized to grant an increase in the price of the materials in the contract to prevent further loss to contractors.

In the waning days of the legislative session, the bills have seen significant support from business, construction and labor organizations. These include The Business Council of New York State, the General Contractors Association of New York (GCA), the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley (CIC) and the Building Congress of New York.

Do to the inflation rate in the United States, the construction industry has been suffering from higher costs the past 18 to 24 months, with some commodities rising as much as 50% to 200% during that period.

Rising Costs Blow Up Budgets

Prices of materials and services used in new nonresidential construction leaped on average by nearly 21% in April from year-ago levels, according to an analysis of government data that was reported on May 12 by the Associated General Contractors.

“Nonresidential contractors have endured 12 months of 20% increases in the cost of items they need to build projects,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist. “While they have been able to pass some of those increased costs on to clients, most of those increases have come out of their own bottom line.”

The sharp rise in material costs as well as supply-chain delays are making builders desperate for relief, Louis Coletti, president and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association, told Crain’s New York Business. “Costs are going through the roof and into the sky. It’s fuel, it’s steel, it’s carpentry, it’s all material used on a construction project.”

Industry Coalition Calls For Bill Passage

CIC Executive Director John Cooney, Jr., said that the CIC and the New York Roadway and Infrastructure Coalition have been contacting state lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate to garner support for the Reichlin-Melnick-Zebrowski bills.

Mr. Cooney, who is a member of the NYRIC Executive Committee, told CONSTRUCTION NEWS the legislation is essential for contractors who started work on state contracts prior to April 1, 2020 because at the time there was no hint that there would be a sustained period of unanticipated spikes in construction material costs. After that date, contractors should have been aware of the material price increase risks going forward, he noted.

The proposed equitable adjustment contained in the bills does not include direct labor costs, profit or overhead. It should be noted that the New York State Department of Transportation is one state agency that has an index for steel, asphalt and fuel indices that make adjustments to changes in prices on DOT contracts.

In letters of support of the bills sent to state legislators, the CIC and GCA noted that New York State did provide relief several times during economic crises. “First in 1974, the state enacted Chapters 944 and 945 that provided equitable relief to contractors for steel and petroleum price increases on state and municipal contracts due to the energy crisis at the time. The new state laws allowed for price adjustments on bids submitted prior to Dec. 31, 1973.

Due to sharp price increases caused by U.S. tariffs on steel imposed in 2004, combined with a sharp increase in demand for steel from China, the state passed Chapter 56 that allowed for price adjustments to the prices of steel products in construction contracts let by the State of New York for contracts let prior to April 15, 2004.”

Mr. Cooney said a key facet of the legislation also provides relief to the state or contracting agency if prices of materials decline over the term of the contract.

“If there is relief granted based on a nationwide index that is recognized, if that is granted and it becomes part of the contract, if that construction material price drops then there will be credit given back,” he added.

A host of business and trade groups are calling for the passage of the two bills that would address the sharp spike in material costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in national supply chain problems, as well as the Russian invasion of the Ukraine that exacerbated the supply chain issues that fueled the largest increase in inflation in 40 years.

The CIC and GCA stated their strong support for S.8844/A.10109 that will “provide equitable relief to contractors who have been harmed by the significant spike in construction material costs. Based on legislative precedent providing equitable relief for contractors to address the unanticipated surge in material prices, we urge the Legislature to take similar actions and pass S.8844/A.101.”

GCA Executive Director Robert Wessels said in a Crain’s New York Business report, “Small companies can be put out of business when your prices are bid for a job with fixed costs. Supply and demand prices went through the roof, and contractors were left holding the bag.”

Stephen Morgan, secretary of NYRIC said, “NYRIC will continue to work with the Legislature to pass the bill and then the Governor’s Office and the Division of the Budget to impress upon them the fairness of addressing this unanticipated increase in cost to the construction industry.”

Another key construction trade organization has also voiced support for the legislation is the New York Building Congress. Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, said, “This legislation would deliver equitable relief to contractors who have already entered contracts for important public works projects and have experienced losses from the spike in construction materials. Similar action was taken to provide relief to contracts for steel and petroleum price increases due to the unforeseen energy crisis in 1974, and the sharp increase in steel prices caused by the U.S tariffs on steel, along with the spike in demand for steel from China in 2004. The Building Congress strongly urges the Senate and Assembly to move S.8844 and A.10109 through their respective committees and bring them to the floor for approval immediately.”

The Business Council of New York State also issued its support of the bills, stating: “The construction industry is dealing with steep and fast-rising costs for materials that are needed for them to complete their bids and finish the process. This bill will give contractors and subcontractors the assistance they need in doing their work and avoiding shutdowns.”

Construction and labor officials warn that without relief, general contractors, subcontractors and MWBEs could be adversely affected and that some could even be forced to shut down operations when they do not have the sufficient funds in reserve to meet these rapidly rising material and commodity project costs.

NY State Awards $69.3 Million in Grants For H.V. Water Infrastructure Projects

By JOHN JORDAN – May 25, 2022

ALBANY  — The Environmental Facilities Corporation has awarded more than $69.3 million to Mid-Hudson municipalities for projects that are designed to protect public health or improve water quality. The investment is projected to contribute 4,850 jobs to the Mid-Hudson economy and save Mid-Hudson localities an estimated $191.4 million.

The grant awards are part of the $638 million package of grants to municipalities and public authorities for 199 water infrastructure projects across the state that the EFC announced recently.

All in, the impact of this public works spending plan is enormous: nearly $601 million in Water Infrastructure Improvement Act grants and more than $37 million in additional federal subsidies will support approximately $1.6 billion in infrastructure investment.

“Communities that have borne the brunt of decades-old industry pollution or historical neglect are utilizing these funds to help offset project costs and tackle the larger issues of clean water delivery.”

Dr. Mary T. Bassett
New York State  Department of Health Commissioner

The grants are projected to contribute more than 35,000 jobs to New York’s economy and save taxpayers an estimated $1.4 billion. The announcement marked the largest-ever award of Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) grants.

Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “This historic level of grant funding from EFC will provide transformational benefits for 151 communities as the state implements the water quality goals. Grants from EFC provide relief for taxpayers and help local governments get shovels in the ground for critical projects that protect public health and the environment, create jobs, and spur economic development. EFC is poised to support many more water quality infrastructure projects through the initiatives in the enacted state budget and the infusion of federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Environmental Facilities Corporation Board Chair Basil Seggos also announced strong support for the spending.

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Replacing outdated infrastructure and implementing treatment for emerging contaminants in New York State’s public drinking water systems are critical components of ensuring equity in public health. Communities that have borne the brunt of decades-old industry pollution or historical neglect are utilizing these funds to help off-set project costs and tackle the larger issues of clean water delivery.”

More than $220 million has been awarded to improve drinking water systems and an additional $206 million to projects that treat emerging contaminants. Eligible projects that address emerging contaminants above the state determined Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) are being awarded 60% of net eligible project costs. The state also announced more than $139 million has been awarded for Wastewater Improvement Projects.

Thirteen municipal projects have been awarded a 25% WIIA grant plus a 25% federal additional subsidy to fund 50% of the estimated project costs. This is made possible by awarding 25% in additional federal subsidies to these hardship communities that will receive interest-free financing for the remaining 50% of the project costs. The municipalities were chosen to receive the subsidy based on project eligibility, impacts on water quality and financial hardship. One municipality in the Mid-Hudson region received WIA financing. The City of Newburgh secured $5,577,500 in estimated federal subsidy and another $5,577,500 in estimated WIIA grant financing for a total grant award of $11,155,000.

Ridge Hill Shopping Complex Sold for $220M; Plans to Rebrand as ‘Outdoor Lifestyle Center’

By JOHN JORDAN – May 25, 2022

YONKERS  — The Ridge Hill Shopping Center in Yonkers, which first opened more than a decade ago, has been sold to a partnership of Nuveen Real Estate, Taconic Partners and North American Properties for $220 million. The new ownership intends to rebrand the 74-acre property into an outdoor lifestyle center as well as “unlock the full development potential of the site.”

The property was sold by QIC Real Estate, which acquired interest in the 1.2-million-square-foot mixed-use complex off the New York State Thruway in 2016 and 2017 from Forests City Realty Trust. The 2017 transaction included the remaining Forest City Realty ownership of Ridge Hill, as part of 10-property portfolio deal on behalf of a QIC client.

The sale of the Ridge Hill Shopping Center does not include 

Ridge Hill Shopping Center was developed by Forest City Retail for approximately $600 million and first opened in 2011.

the Monarch at Ridge Hill condominium development. Forest City developed the Ridge Hill shopping center for approximately $600 million.

The new ownership stated that its renovation/repositioning plans for the Ridge Hill complex are still in development, but the partners will “look to incorporate state-of-the-art initiatives that enhance Ridge Hill’s public spaces, street design and parking amenities. They will also draw on their combined network of retailers to attract top-tier local and NYC inspired food and beverage concepts, and national luxury apparel and boutique fitness providers, building on Ridge Hill’s existing experiential features to create the leading lifestyle center in the tri-state region.”

JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller—QIC US Management, Inc. Additionally, working on behalf of the new ownership, JLL secured a $181.3-million non-recourse acquisition loan from Heitman Capital Management LLC.

“We see this as an attractively priced asset in an evolving sector that fits within our well-diversified New York property focused real estate fund,” said Nadir Settles, Managing Director at Nuveen and Head of the New York Property Fund. “The acquisition of Ridge Hill reflects a generational opportunity to re-position an already dominant lifestyle center that sits in the heart of one of the country’s most affluent and densely populated regions.”

“This unique retail asset will be a great addition to our fund and we look forward to being a part of its successful redevelopment,” said Chris Balestra, President and Chief Investment Officer at Taconic Partners.

Ridge Hill is currently 71.7% occupied and home to a mix of retail and office tenants, including Whole Foods, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, T.J.Maxx, H&M, LA Fitness, LL Bean, Showcase Cinemas, Legoland Discovery Center, Guitar Center, the Container Store and Westmed Medical Group. The property welcomes 7.1 million annual visitors and is in the top 1% of the most trafficked centers in the U.S. and New York.

North American Properties stated that it will begin operations and repositioning of the property this month. NAP is a boutique, full-service real estate owner/developer notable for projects such as Avalon in Alpharetta, GA; Birkdale Village in Charlotte, NC; Colony Square in Atlanta, GA and, Newport on the Levee in Newport, KY. The partnership between Nuveen and NAP continues to grow, with Ridge Hill representing their third project together. The partners recently acquired the open-air lifestyle center The Forum on Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners, GA.

“Over the last decade, Ridge Hill has become a core component of the Yonkers community and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to enhance it by applying our high-touch, hospitality-driven approach toward management,” said Tim Perry, managing partner at NAP. He later added, “We’ve already started working to enhance the public realm, bring technology forward in the guest and parking experience, as well as longer term unlocking the full development potential of the site. Helping to design and define this will require community engagement to determine what’s missing, from a retail, as well as experiential, perspective.”

Nuveen Real Estate and Taconic Partners have collaborated since 2015, collectively investing more than $2 billion across more than 2 million square feet in New York. The partners completed a $260-million fundraising round for their jointly sponsored value-add New York City Property Fund II in 2021. The acquisition of Ridge Hill is the partnership’s first investment into value-add retail and an opportunity to diversify beyond its existing life science, office and industrial holdings, the partnership stated.

The JLL Retail Capital Markets team that represented the seller was led by Senior Managing Director Dave Monahan, Senior Director Cameron Pittman, Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of U.S. Retail Capital Markets Chris Angelone and Senior Managing Directors Jose Cruz and Andrew Scandalios.

“Ridge Hill is one of the more compelling investment opportunities that I have transacted in my career,” Mr. Monahan said. “Driven by the exceptional trade area characteristics, highly desirable existing tenancy and multiple value creation opportunities, this asset received a tremendous amount of interest from a broad range of investors. The collective experience and operational expertise of the buyer group of Nuveen, Taconic and North American Properties creates an ownership that is uniquely qualified to enable Ridge Hill to achieve its highest potential.”

The JLL Capital Markets Debt Advisory team that represented the borrower included Senior Managing Directors Kellogg Gaines, Aaron Niedermayer and Evan Pariser, Managing Director Claudia Steeb and Analyst Joy Dracos.

Westchester County Executive Latimer Relaunches Public Engagement Program for County Airport

WHITE PLAINS—Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced on May 4th he is reintroducing a community engagement program coined as “On the Horizon” to hear from the public on the future of Westchester County Airport.

In February 2020, Mr. Latimer first launched the program to support the Master Plan Supplement for Westchester County Airport, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the project on hold for more than two years. County Executive Latimer is once again opening up a county-wide discussion to listen to the concerns of residents, community organizations, the business community, environmental activists and more. Together, Mr. Latimer said he is hoping to create a new vision for Westchester County Airport.

Westchester County Airport

“Westchester County Airport is just one project that unfortunately came to a screeching halt with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but my administration is committed to completing a thorough evaluation of airport operations and its impacts, and a robust community engagement program,” Mr. Latimer said. “Whether you use the airport to fly with your family to Florida, to pick up your parents who are visiting for the winter, or you use the airport for business travel, we need to hear from you. Our goal is to engage everyone the airport touches—our homeowners, business community, environmental groups, community organizations and more—a balance I am confident we can achieve. We look forward to having the public be an integral part of this process moving forward, and together, we will ensure the airport evolves as a valuable, transportation resource.”

The On the Horizon Master Plan Supplement Community Engagement Program includes a series of public events such as town halls. The Master Plan Supplement will focus on analysis of the airport with respect to the physical condition of the airport property, buildings and infrastructure, additional analysis of noise and environmental impacts and the local and regional economic impact of the airport. This analysis will be used to develop a vision for the airport in the future.

Director of Economic Development Bridget Gibbons said, “The airport plays a significant role in the economic development of the county. This Master Plan Supplement and the feedback from the business community will be vital in shaping a vibrant economic landscape in Westchester County in the years to come.”

Director of Energy Conservation and Sustainability Peter McCartt added, “Westchester County understands the importance of protecting the environmental resources surrounding the airport. We look forward to developing a deeper understanding on how to continue balancing airport operations and environmental concerns in the future through the Master Plan Supplement and Community Engagement Program.”

The On the Horizon Town Halls on Westchester County Airport are scheduled for:

Thursday, June 2 at 6 p.m. – Manhattanville College –  2900 Purchase St., Purchase, NY 10577

Thursday, June 9 at 6 p.m. – Mercy College – 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

Attorney's Column

In Constructive Change Directive Provision Case, Court Grants Win to Otherwise Breaching Contractor


Construction projects are often expensive undertakings, with the expense increasing with the duration of the project. For that reason, owners and upstream contractors do whatever they can to stave off delays. One way they can stave off such delays is to include a provision requiring downstream contractors involved in a change order dispute to continue working pending the resolution of the dispute.

An appellate court, in the recent case of McCarthy Concrete, Inc. v Banton Construction Co., reminded us that the violation of this type of provision constitutes an independent breach of the contract and supports the imposition of liability the same as a breach of any other substantive provision of the contract


In the early 2010s, Amtrak undertook to expand its Empire Corridor trackage between its Albany-Rensselaer and Schenectady, NY train stations by adding a fourth track. In April 2014, Amtrak hired Middlesex Corp. as its general contractor which, in turn, retained Banton Construction Company to perform a specified scope of work in connection with the project. In October 2014, Banton hired McCarthy Concrete to complete the concrete work for the platform extensions. This work included the structural concrete for the pile caps and inspection pits and the concrete overlay for the platforms. The lump sum subcontract had certain enumerated exclusions, including concrete pumping and tactile work and included unit pricing for the actual quantity of concrete used.

As to claimed changes, the subcontract also contained a provision requiring McCarthy to “immediately perform the work as changed without delay,” and “pending resolution of any claim, dispute or other controversy, nothing shall excuse McCarthy from proceeding with prosecution of the work.”

In the summer of 2015, Amtrak ordered a suspension of the project, and Banton directed McCarthy to demobilize. Banton and McCarthy worked to resolve some then-outstanding payment issues, which ultimately resulted in a lawsuit in Connecticut. That lawsuit was settled with the understanding that Banton would pay certain of McCarthy’s claims, and McCarthy would return to work when Amtrak lifted the suspension. As a part of the resumption of work, Amtrak changed the plans which, as far as McCarthy was concerned, included the use of concrete pumping and the installation of tactile warning strips. Banton requested proposals for the changed work from McCarthy, and the proposals ultimately provided by McCarthy were not acceptable to Banton. In September of 2016, Banton directed McCarthy to return to work, stating that it was “willing to fund the alleged added costs for concrete pumping and added reinforcing, under a reservation of rights.” Banton also warned McCarthy that if it did not return to work, it would terminate McCarthy and retain a completion contractor. Ultimately, McCarthy never returned to the job, citing the lack of assurances of payment for the new work. Banton followed through on the termination and the hiring of a replacement contractor.

McCarthy sued Banton for some unpaid rebar left at the site, and to recover its unpaid retainage. Importantly, McCarthy also sued for its lost profits; the money it claimed it would have made but for the allegedly improper termination of its contract. Banton asserted a counterclaim, alleging that McCarthy breached the subcontract by failing to return to the job on account of the payment dispute, in violation of the subcontract’s work directive provision.

The matter was tried, with the judge deciding in favor of McCarthy on its principal claim. The trial court awarded McCarthy a judgment in the total amount of $92,582.98, which was the value of the unpaid rebar, the retainage, and $28,500 in lost profits. Banton appealed, arguing that McCarthy’s breach of the contract by failing to return to the site, where the contract language required continued performance despite the existence of a payment dispute, excused it from having to pay McCarthy (or, at a bare minimum, was an offset against McCarthy’s claim).


While the trial court gave short shrift to the “continue working” provision, the appellate court found that the breach of this provision required reversal. The appellate court specifically noted that as “plaintiff had agreed, pursuant to the subcontract, to continue the work while pursing dispute resolution, its failure to perform the work amounted to a breach of the subcontract. Thus, we disagree with Supreme Court that Banton breached the contract based upon terminating the subcontract when plaintiff refused to perform absent an express agreement as to costs for the increased work. Rather, we find that plaintiff breached the subcontract by refusing to perform the work as it was required to do under the subcontract and, as such, grant Banton’s counterclaim for breach of contract.” In doing so, the appellate court held that Banton was entitled to an affirmative recovery of $61,986.22 from McCarthy, which was Banton’s $106,068.22 cost to retain the replacement contractor, minus only the $44,081.93 in retainage owed to McCarthy. The appellate court held that McCarthy was not entitled to lost profits since it, not Banton, breached the contract (and also held that McCarthy had previously released the claim for the rebar).


This case is a reminder that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. In other words, in the context of a breach of contract lawsuit, the plaintiff must not first be in breach of contract itself. While the withholding of work often is the only leverage that an unpaid contractor has to ensure full payment, in the face of a prior agreement to continue working notwithstanding the existence of such a payment dispute, the tactic has been analogized to hostage taking—including by the appellate court here. It noted that “Plaintiff’s refusal to perform the changed work without an express agreement as to increased costs had the effect of holding Banton hostage in that work.” Accordingly, contractors would be well advised to consult with experienced construction counsel to determine what remedies they truly have, and what actions will only grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

About the authors: Thomas H. Welby, an attorney and licensed professional engineer, is General Counsel to the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and is the Founder of, and Senior Counsel to the law firm of Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, with offices located throughout the Tri-State/Greater Metropolitan Region. Gregory J. Spaun, General Counsel to the Queens and Bronx Building Association, and an attorney and a partner with the firm, co-authors this series with Mr. Welby. 

Construction NEWS


Teeing Up for Housing

Habitat of Greater Newburgh Stages Golf Event at Powelton Country Club

The annual Golf for Housing raised more than $75,000 to support the organization’s work to provide homeownership for local families to build a stronger community for everyone. The morning shotgun on May 23 drew some 118 golfers, followed by a great lunch and prizes.

Despite its two-year golf hiatus due to the pandemic, the charity has worked hard in that time and recently completed its 102nd home in its 22 years.

Washington Update

USDOT Offers $1B In Grants for Safe Streets, Roads

WASHINGTON—The U.S. DOT announced on May 16 that the application process was opened for communities of all sizes to apply for $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2022 funding to help them ensure safe streets and roads for all and address the national roadway safety crisis.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) discretionary grant program provides dedicated funding to support regional, local, and Tribal plans, projects and strategies that will prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. The SS4A program supports the department’s comprehensive approach, laid out in the National Roadway Safety Strategy, to significantly reduce serious injuries and deaths on the nation’s highways, roads, and streets and is part of the work toward an ambitious long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities. This comes at a time when traffic fatalities are at the highest level they have been at in over a decade.

“We face a national crisis of fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways, and these tragedies are preventable—so as a nation we must work urgently and collaboratively to save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg. “The funds we are making available today from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help communities large and small take action to protect all Americans on our roads.”

“The rise in deaths and serious injuries on our public roads affects people of every age, race and income level, in rural communities and big cities alike,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “This program will provide leaders in communities across the country with the resources they need to make roads safer for everyone.”

The primary goal of the SS4A grants is to improve roadway safety by supporting communities in developing comprehensive safety action plans based on a Safe System Approach, and implementing projects and strategies that significantly reduce or eliminate transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries involving pedestrians; bicyclists; public transportation, personal conveyance, and micromobility users, commercial vehicle operators; and motorists. Funding can also be used to support robust stakeholder engagement in order to ensure that all community members have a voice in developing plans, projects and strategies.

The funding supports DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy and collaborative efforts to advance the Safe System Approach and address safety by implementing redundant measures that lead to multiple types and layers of protection.

The SS4A Grant Program was created by Congress under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which directed the department to support local initiatives to prevent death and serious injury on roads and streets. The law also directed the department, when selecting projects under the program, to consider other factors in addition to safety, including equitable investment in the safety needs of underserved communities. The program also supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of promoting equity and fighting climate change.

Applications may come from individual communities, or groups of communities and may include Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), counties, cities, towns, other special districts that are subdivisions of a state, certain transit agencies, federally recognized Tribal governments, and multi-jurisdictional groups.

The department has made the application process to receive funding to develop a comprehensive safety action plan as easy as possible to reduce administrative burden and encourage broad participation in this new funding program, especially for smaller communities, Tribal governments and new federal funding recipients.

The Safe Streets for All Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at Applications are due on or before Sept. 15, 2022.

The Department will convene a series of stakeholder webinars in June to help potential applicants learn about the SS4A Grant Program and what they need to know to prepare an application.

Monday, June 13: How to Apply for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Opportunity

Wednesday, June 15: How to Apply for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Opportunity: Focus on Action Plan Grants

Thursday, June 23: How to Apply for the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Opportunity: Focus on Implementation Grants

Additional information and resources about the SS4A Grant Program, including webinar links, can be found at

$3M Study to Examine Route 9A Corridor Woes

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY—The local community and the construction industry have been on the case to press state government for more than two decades to study and fix the routinely-congested Route 9A corridor that runs through this community in the heart to Westchester County. The state included some $3 million in the FY2022-2023 budget for the much-needed study.

The announcement was made at a news conference hosted by Briarcliff Manor Mayor Steven Vescio outside the Briarcliff Animal Hospital, just several yards away from the busy north-south roadway, where more than 40,000 vehicles travel daily, including passenger cars, SUVs, emergency transports, concrete mixers, delivery vans, landscaping trucks with equipment trailers and large 12-wheelers.

State Sen. Pete Harckham was joined by other state lawmakers and local municipal officials in announcing the Route 9A study funding.

“For too many years, this very busy stretch of state highway, with its dangerous intersections, lack of a breakdown lane and poor drainage that negatively impacts adjacent neighborhoods, has required serious upgrading, and now we are finally moving forward with its overhaul and improvement,” said Sen. Pete Harckham who spoke at the news conference.

The cost for a study of Route 9A was seen in prior years as being too prohibitive, Sen. Harckham noted, but by working together with Sen. Tim Kennedy, who serves as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, with whom he shares part of the roadway with in their respective Senate districts, the funding was secured finally.

“As we rebound from the pandemic, we remain focused on rebuilding from the ground up—and that starts with our infrastructure,” Sen. Kennedy said at the news event. “Route 9A has posed problems for first responders, drivers and homeowners for years, and by securing these critical dollars in this year’s state budget, we’re taking a major step forward in identifying how this heavily trafficked roadway can be improved.”

The announcement of a Route 9A study is based upon legislation (S.2988/A.5925) that Sen. Harckham and Rep. Sandra Galef have introduced (and which Sen. Reichlin-Melnick and Rep. Tom Abinanti co-sponsored) regularly in the last few years.

The study is limited to the portion of Route 9A within the towns of Mount Pleasant and Ossining, so it includes the Village of Briarcliff (which is in both towns). NYSDOT will conduct the study, which will include: the estimated total cost of new guardrail installation; estimated total cost of underpass renovations to accommodate commercial vehicles (some do not fit under the Pleasantville Road bridge); estimated duration of the project; the impact construction will have on local traffic patterns and the environmental impact of the project.

As the study proceeds, the state lawmakers recognize that areas for cooperation between agencies who have purview over this project or relevant properties need to be identified, and their input will be solicited and incorporated into the study as well.

It is well understood that the portion of Route 9A to be studied currently poses a significant risk to motorists. It has narrow shoulders, low-clearance underpasses and general design deficiencies, all of which put a major strain on traffic, as well as on the first responders who answer emergencies and deal with the more than 120 crashes on this stretch of roadway each year.

Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi said this study is critical and demands immediate attention due to the growth along the route over the years as well as the more recent and pending developments in the Town of Mount Pleasant alone.

The Village of Ossining Reissues RFP For Redevelopment of 200 Main Street

OSSINING, NY—The Village of Ossining has issued a request for proposal (RFP) from a qualified developer for the adaptive reuse of a National Register-listed historic building—200 Main St., which was built in 1908 and sits on a village-owned parcel at the intersection of Main Street and NYS Route 9 (Highland Avenue).

The village stated in its May 9 announcement that it is “desirous of a developer with a good track record, sound financial backing, and commitment to implementing creative, quality development in a timely manner. The village is open to working collaboratively to support the long-term financial viability of the proposed project by leveraging grant funding.”

The village had issued an RFP on the 200 Main St. property on March 21, 2022. The deadline for responses to the reissued RFP is 4:30 pm on Monday, June 20, 2022.

The Village of Ossining has issued an RFP for a developer to propose a suitable adaptive reuse of the historic building at 200 Main St.

The village listed among its goals and objectives for the property’s redevelopment:

  •  Establish this historic site as a destination gateway to Ossining’s Main Street and Riverfront corridor.
  •  Further catalyze economic growth and vibrancy of this rapidly transforming community.
  •  Leverage the significant local and state investment that is being made in Ossining’s downtown, waterfront district with the development of a unique, experiential retail establishment.

In November 2021, the Village of Ossining was selected as a recipient of the New York State Regional Economic Development Council’s highly competitive $10-Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Ossining is currently embarking on a six-month planning process that will link the community’s vision, goals, and strategies to specific projects that have the potential to revitalize Downtown Ossining. The identification of a private sector developer, or sponsor, for the adaptive rehabilitation and reuse of 200 Main Street will help greatly to position this project as a compelling opportunity for DRI funding.

Information on this RFP is available at:

Respondents should submit one PDF copy of the requested information to, and eight paper copies of the requested information. The complete package of material should be submitted to Village Manager Karen D’Attore, Village Hall, 16 Croton Avenue 2nd Floor, Ossining, NY 10562.

Arrowwood Hotel Target of Plan For ‘Dramatic Redevelopment’

RYE BROOK, NY—Manhattan-based Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation announced on May 12 it will submit a proposal for what it termed will be a “dramatic redevelopment” of the shuttered Doral Arrowwood Hotel and Conference Center.

The plan calls for the construction of a wellness-focused luxury boutique hotel and spa destination featuring multiple restaurants, celebrity-chef dining, extensive indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and luxury housing.

The proposal involves replacing the complex on Anderson Hill Road that closed in January 2020, with a 146-room luxury boutique hotel, together with 36 apartments and 78 townhomes on the approximately 90-acre property, much of which would remain open space. The concept will feature signature architecture and envisions two marquee destination restaurants, as well as a hotel restaurant, bars, lounges, fitness facilities, conference and meeting rooms and ballrooms, company officials stated.

The Cohen Brothers proposal calls for demolishing the former Doral Arrowwood Hotel that closed in January 2020 and replacing it with a new boutique hotel, restaurants, apartments and townhomes.

The existing hotel will be demolished, and the golf course will be reimagined as natural open space with a trail network, the company stated.

“We are very excited to be moving forward with a proposal that we believe is well-suited for the property, the adjacent community, the Village of Rye Brook and Westchester County,” said Charles S. Cohen, president/CEO of Cohen Brothers, who grew up in nearby Harrison. “This is a complete reimagination of an outdated use that is aligned with business and consumer trends of the 21st century.”

A formal proposal and application will be submitted to the Village of Rye Brook for consideration.

Cohen Brothers other Westchester County holding is 333 Westchester Ave. in White Plains. Once the headquarters of the General Foods Corp., Cohen Brothers acquired the 39-acre property and worked with architect Philip Johnson to transform it into a multi-tenant office campus.

Co-Op City’s $622M Refi Deal Frees Up $124M for Repairs on Bronx Complex

NEW YORK—A host of federal, state and city agencies have closed on the refinancing of a $621.5-million U.S. Housing and Urban Development loan with Riverbay Corp., the management company for Co-op City in the Bronx.

The refinancing deal announced on April 27, provides Riverbay Corp. with $124 million in proceeds that will be used for capital improvements, including upgrades to the HVAC, façade maintenance, and electrical systems at the nation’s largest cooperative housing development.

This transformative injection of capital funding will permit modernize Co-op City, described by New York State as the largest housing cooperative in the world, and ensure long-term affordability for its 45,000 residents.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said, “We applaud

Co-Op City is the nation’s largest cooperative housing development and is located on 320 acres in the Northeast Bronx.

the successful completion of the refinance for the Bronx’s Co-op City complex. The Biden-Harris Administration and HUD are committed to stabilizing the housing market nationwide using every tool at our disposal, including utilizing Federal Housing Administration multifamily mortgage insurance as a key financing source. From supporting larger loans in major metropolitan areas to smaller loans in rural communities and suburbs, HUD is proud to be a partner in creating and preserving affordable housing across the country.”

The restructured $621.5 million mortgage loan from Wells Fargo extends the term of affordability for an additional 10 years and provides $124 million for the cooperative to undertake necessary capital repairs. With 15,372 homes, Co-op City is the largest cooperative housing development in the world. The Mortgage Insurance Fund of the State of New York Mortgage Agency, which is part of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the New York City Housing Development Corporation, will provide credit support with $55 million and $15 million coverage of the loan, respectively.

The loan includes $15 million for immediate capital repairs, including approximately $10 million for balcony and façade repair, $2.5 million for the replacement of residential water pumps and $2.5 million for the replacement of garage elevators. The loan also includes $109 million to replenish a reserve account for future repairs, all without raising maintenance charges for residents.

Co-op City Board President Bernard Cylich said of the refinancing deal, “This loan will assist us to maintain our buildings and infrastructure while reducing the need for our residents to pay huge fee increases.”

The 2012 Wells Fargo mortgage loan to Riverbay Corporation was the largest ever insured under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sec. 223(f) program, which protects lenders against loss on mortgage defaults at multifamily properties.

Newburgh Issues Two RFPs To Redo City-Owned Properties

NEWBURGH, NY—The City of Newburgh has recently issued two requests for proposals that represent what it termed are “exciting and unique development opportunities” for several city-owned properties, including City Hall.

The first, RFP #11.22, seeks proposals for the creative redevelopment of numerous city-owned properties—both existing buildings and vacant parcels—that the city hopes will result in a new municipal campus.

The RFP includes 17 vacant parcels on Broadway, Johnston and Lander streets for redevelopment totaling nearly two acres, as well as three parking lots and one abandoned parking lot. The RFP also includes the historic City Hall building at 83 Broadway and the 55 Broadway complex that has been used as the headquarters for the city’s police and fire departments.

Part of one RFP is the historic City Hall building at 83 Broadway in Downtown Newburgh.

Newburgh’s City Hall was originally constructed as an industrial building in 1882 to house the Bazzoni Carriage Works—a manufacturer of sleighs and horse-drawn carriages. The City of Newburgh purchased the building in 1893 and contracted with the architectural firm of Frank Estabrook to renovate the building for public use. In 1895 the city government offices officially opened at 83 Broadway, and the City Council began holding meetings in the two-story Council Chambers on the second floor.

The RFP states: “The City of Newburgh is requesting developers to create a master land use/redevelopment plan for one or all of the parcels listed above. Proposals may also include development on privately-owned parcels or in coordination with the development of privately-owned parcels, provided there is a reasonable possibility the proposer can enter into an appropriate agreement with the property owner.”

It continued, “The master land use plan must include a proposal to incorporate essential city services and uses—City Hall (and related municipal offices currently in other locations), Police Department (excluding any lock-up facilities) and Fire Department—and municipal parking within a mixed-use, transit-oriented development scenario. The re-purposing and redevelopment of the available city-owned parcels needs to adhere to the appropriate zoning regulations, East End Historic District (EEHD) guidelines, and any stated city goals and objectives.”

The RFP document stated that the 55 Broadway building that houses the city’s police and fire departments could be either redeveloped or demolished as part of a bidder’s master plan.

Sealed bids will be received by the City Comptroller in the City Comptroller’s Office at City Hall, 83 Broadway, 4th Floor, Newburgh, New York 12550 until 4 p.m. on June 3rd, 2022 for the RFP# 11.22 solicitation.

The second, RFP #14.22, looks for proposals to remediate 842 Broadway, a fire-damaged gas station, and transform it into what the city describes as “a welcoming business establishment at a key gateway into the City of Newburgh.”

The property located at the western entrance to the city on Broadway was known and operated as Dennis’s Sunoco, a gas station and auto repair shop for many years. “The building was built in 1945, according to the assessor’s records, and is estimated to be approximately 3,360 square feet in size. The property suffered a significant fire in December 2018, which left the building as a burned-out shell. The property is an environmental hazard, both above and below ground,” according to the RFP.

The city is nearing the completion of a tax foreclosure proceeding to acquire title to the property. The city has also entered into an agreement with the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to conduct the below-ground portion of the remediation. The approved developer will be required to enter into a Site Development Agreement with the city, with terms and conditions to be approved by the Newburgh City Council, the RFP states.

Sealed bids were to be received by the City Comptroller in City Comptroller’s Office at City Hall, 83 Broadway, 4th Floor, Newburgh, New York 12550 until 4 p.m. on May 13, 2022 for the Remediation and Purchase of 842 Broadway.

Detailed information on both RFPs can be found on the Bidnet website ( as well as on the Planning and Development’s departmental page on the City of Newburgh’s website (

Potential purchasers are urged to consult the City of Newburgh’s updated Surplus Property Disposition Policy ( before submitting any offers or proposals.

For more information, contact Director of Planning and Development Alexandra Church at 845-569-9400 or via e-mail at

Safety Watch

Establish and Maintain Programs that Communicate Clear Rules and Actions to Prevent Fall Hazards


Secretary of Labor v. Miller Insulation is an instructive case showing the need for safety programs that include proper training, guidance and communication for fall protection. This matter arose from an accident in North Dakota in April 2019 involving an employee of Miller Insulation who fell from the edge of a mezzanine floor where the wooden floor met a drop ceiling with a nine-foot height differential.

Miller provides insulation services with approximately 600 employees. Here, Miller was to repair insulation on piping and valves and 

replace stained ceiling tiles at a school. Approximately a month prior to the accident, Miller’s superintendent conducted a walk-through of the worksite with the superintendent of the general contractor. They both reviewed the punch list of items to be completed and took photographs. During the walk-through they climbed a ladder to enter a mechanical room on a mezzanine floor, above. The mezzanine had wood flooring that did not extend all the way to the walls at each end of the floor. Between the end of the wood floor and walls were thin tiles placed on metal grid, which served as drop ceiling for the hallway below. The superintendents spent about five minutes and did not identify a clear hazard, but Miller’s superintendent requested that the overall area have better illumination.

On April 19, 2019, Miller’s superintendent met with Miller employee, Mr. Andrade, and two workers to discuss the repairs and reviewed the punch list items and photographs. The superintendent could not go to the site that day, but rather instructed Mr. Andrade to meet with the GC’s superintendent to also go over the work and to look after the two employees. They arrived at the site, and Mr. Andrade met and discussed the work with the GC’s superintendent and then directed the two employees to only complete the repair work depicted in the pictures. They were not to look outside this original scope and were to call a supervisor for permission to conduct additional work.

After commencement of their work on the mezzanine, Mr. Andrade heard one employee yelling that the other employee had fallen and was injured. This employee was taken to the hospital and died from the injuries he sustained in the fall. Miller’s subsequent investigation revealed that Mr. Andrade had only partially completed a Job Hazard Assessment (JHA) before starting work because he “spaced out on it.” He was subsequently disciplined and suspended.

Accident reports were completed, photographs were taken, and it was determined that there was adequate lighting on the mezzanine, including in the area where no work was scheduled to be performed and where the deceased employee had been working. OSHA conducted its own investigation and determined that the employee had been exposed to a fall hazard next to an un-protected edge that had at least a nine-foot height differential from floor to the drop ceiling below; a citation for an OSHA violation was issued. The matter was brought before an ALJ for OSHA’s Review Commission.

The cited standard required Miller to ensure that each of its employees on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge, six feet or more above a lower level, were protected from falling by use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. Here the record was clear that Miller’s repair work fell under OSHA’s definition of “construction work” and that Miller violated the applicable safety standard and that its employees had been exposed to a fall hazard.

However, Miller raised the “employee misconduct” affirmative defense and the ALJ found that the evidence showed that Miller did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition of the victim working from the mezzanine’s unprotected edge without fall protection. Neither Miller’s superintendent nor Mr. Andrade had knowledge of the hazard as neither identified a clear hazard while either observing or working at the site. The fall area had no scheduled work, was 20 feet away, and partially barricaded by pipes from the work he was instructed to complete. Mr. Andrade never directed the deceased employee to work in the fall area since no work was required there.

Miller established that it had work rules and policies that communicated fall protection for employees working at or above a height of six feet, including in a safety handbook (providing specific fall protection rules and guidance), an employee handbook, a Work-Place Accident and Injury Reduction Act Program, a Risk and Hazard Assessment Program and safety manuals, all of which were distributed to and available to employees. They also conducted toolbox talks (including 30 in the prior incident year on fall protection alone), employee orientation tests and provided safety handouts.

Miller’s safety program required use of guardrails and barricade warning tape, along with fall protection while working near unprotected sides/edges. Miller adequately communicated its rules on fall protection through orientation videos, its work rules and distributed literature as well as making its employees receive training through OSHA 10/30 trainings. Here, the record showed that both the deceased employee and Mr. Andrade were well aware of the work rules and Mr. Andrade had even provided the deceased employee hands-on training that included direction to tie off any time when working six feet above ground away from an edge.

Miller took reasonable steps to discover safety violations, employed six safety coordinators who consistently audited jobsites while safety superintendents would also visit jobsites at least once per week. Miller also incentivized employees to identify safety violations under a “good catch program.” Lastly, Miller took reasonable steps to enforce violations to its fall-protection rules that included write-ups and terminations for repeated failures.

Here, Mr. Andrade’s failure to fully complete a JHA led to disciplinary action for his failure to follow the work rules and ultimately led to his termination. The ALJ found that Miller had met its burden of proof regarding the affirmative defense of unpreventable employee misconduct and vacated the OSHA citation.

About the author: Costas Cyprus is an associate attorney practicing construction law and commercial litigation with Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, in White Plains, NY. He can be reached at 914-428-2100 and at The articles in this series do not constitute legal advice and are intended for general guidance only.

Financial Management

Build a Strong Three-Legged Stool Of Succession Planning


Though many aspects of the construction industry necessitate robust planning and strategy, one factor that is sometimes overlooked is planning for succession and transition. This plan should be developed regardless of the need for it at the moment, as it will help to streamline operations in the future and reduce risk and unnecessary delays. A well-crafted transition plan will provide for an exit strategy for owners and allow for identification of future owners who will be able to fill the leadership roles and maintain growth for any company.

Leg No. 1: the Financial Goals aka The Kingdom. The overall importance of a succession and transition plan can be boiled down to one simple point—construction owners should consider the long-term future health of their business while also maintaining the goals of operational, organizational and financial viability and efficiency throughout the process. A robust plan can also help enhance earnings and sustain cash flow while enacting a foundation for the next generation of leadership. The potential for consistent earnings throughout a transition plan can also incentivize stakeholders and new leaders to buy-in, as these new leaders will ultimately be the main factor in determining the success, value, and public standing of the company. Proper planning can also lead to a boost in operational efficiency and margins and a higher-valuation and increased ROI, which would also result in a higher value for the business.

Leg No. 2: the Leadership aka The Power. The ability to install talented leadership can help to future-proof a construction company’s financial, business and management systems and maintain continuity for leaders and retain employees for years to come. This also streamlines the entire process and reduces conflicts or concerns from clients and customers as well as aiding in any issues that may arise from internal dynamics.

Through the development of a concise and clear timeline for succession, leaders can minimize risk, gain consensus among stakeholders, and identify the next head of the company who will lead the company forward. Furthermore, leaders who can continue the skills and behaviors of previous leadership, especially traits valued by board members and others, can allow for an accurate and effectively deployed transition plan without concern for worries among minority owners, lenders and sureties.

One vital task in this process is for owners to understand the value of their company, and in turn, to oversee a formal valuation. This valuation can establish a baseline for both owners that are exiting as well as incoming owners. An additional and crucial step is to involve attorneys and accountants in the transition plan, as they are able to advise on the legality, safety and thoroughness of the process. This task also requires the terms of the transition to be spelled out in detail, including buy-in and buy-out amounts, length of payments, interest rates and terms, earn-outs (if applicable), and other factors that should be considered, such as licensing requirements, tax considerations, entity structure, in-place investments, and employment agreements. Another important note to remember is that this process will require leadership to devote the necessary time to make the plan and transition successful.

Leg No. 3: the Future aka The Legacy. In review, consistency and growth should be prioritized throughout this process, and the more robust and comprehensive the strategy is, the higher the chance that a company will be able to retain talent and attract new talent. Some final strategies include compensation plans for key talent that may consider other opportunities during a transition, as well as assisting in motivation and loyalty to the next generation.

Though construction companies may be focused on the normalizing of the economic landscape and the near future in 2022, transition and succession plans should still be high in mind regardless of whether it is a short- or long-term plan. Construction firms that are prepared for this process already will be able to efficiently and smartly streamline new leadership without any obstacles or worries about delays or slow-downs.

For succession and transition planning best practices, make sure to reach out to your CPA.

About the author: Phillip Ross, CPA, CGMA is an Accounting and Audit Partner and Chair of the Construction Industry Group at Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLP. For more construction industry thought leadership and content, log on to

$110M Rye Lake Water Filtration Plant Reaches Key Regulatory Milestone

MAMARONECK, NY—The Westchester Joint Water Works, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that supplies water to some 120,000 Westchester County residents, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed $110-million drinking water filtration plant to be built in the Town and Village of Harrison.

At its April 12 board meeting, the WJWW authorized the release of the DEIS for public comment and review by other public agencies. The DEIS was prepared in accordance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The document identifies and takes a hard look at the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project, including positive and negative effects to the environment, and considers project alternatives and potential measures to mitigate any negative impacts, the agency stated.

An aerial view of the location of the Rye Lake Water Filtration Plant adjacent to Westchester County Airport.

The DEIS was prepared by WJWW in collaboration with an expert team of environmental engineers, scientists, planners, architects, government agencies and legal specialists. The purpose of the DEIS is to consider potential environmental impacts of the proposed Rye Lake Filtration Plant project, inclusive of a land exchange with Westchester County by which WJWW would acquire 13.4 acres of land on the grounds of Westchester County Airport to build and operate a 30-million-gallon per day Dissolved Air Flotation/Filtration plant.

If approved, the project would include construction of the building, driveway, parking lot, installation of supporting ancillary facilities, utilities including water and sewer, and stormwater management features. The proposed land exchange studied in the DEIS would also include deeding a 13.4-acre tract of nearby land owned by WJWW to Westchester County for inclusion in the airport grounds.

The DEIS includes a thorough examination of existing conditions and potential impacts in a number of areas, including wetlands and topography; land use and zoning; the Town and Village of Harrison’s Comprehensive Plan; visual resources and community character; air-quality, noise and traffic; utilities; and economic impacts.

“Entrusted with providing safe drinking water to the public, Westchester Joint Water Works understands the urgency to build a water filtration plant for the health and safety of the people we serve,” said Paul Kutzy, WJWW Manager. “We also are sensitive to protecting the environment, and as we move forward, we will work closely with our team of professionals to ensure the process is conducted in the most careful, effective and efficient manner. We welcome all questions and comments as part of our thorough environmental review of this critical project.”

The DEIS concludes that the proposed project would comply with the use regulations of existing zoning and Harrison’s Comprehensive Plan, and that no significant adverse environmental impacts are anticipated. The DEIS identifies a number of measures to minimize and mitigate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project and concludes that no additional mitigation measures are necessary, WJWW officials stated.

Submission of the DEIS is an important step forward in the process to build the plant to provide filtration for WJWW’s raw water source at Rye Lake. In accordance with the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency orders, the plant is mandatory for WJWW to comply with surface water treatment requirements and control harmful levels of disinfection by-products, including haloacetic acids, or HAA5. The filtration plant would have the capacity to filter the maximum day water supply demand of WJWW’s entire water distribution system.

Traces of HAA5 have been detected in the Rye Lake water supply system. HAA5 compounds are a common by-product of the water disinfection process, as they form when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic matter in untreated surface water from the Rye Lake source. Chlorine is the most commonly used disinfectant among public water suppliers to kill bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illnesses. Filtering the water is a proven treatment to remove organic matter and thereby reduce the formation of HAA5 compounds. Long-term exposure to high levels of HAA5 has been linked to an increased risk for cancer.

WJWW had scheduled a public hearing on the DEIS for May 25 at the Town of Mamaroneck Town Center Court Room, 2nd floor, 740 West Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543. WJWW will accept written comments on the DEIS until June 6, 2022 by mail to Westchester Joint Water Works at 1625 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543 or by e-mail to

The Westchester Joint Water Works is a nonprofit public benefit corporation formed in 1927 by its three member municipalities: the Village of Mamaroneck, the Town of Mamaroneck, and the Town/Village of Harrison pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 654, Laws of 1927, State of New York to acquire, construct and provide a joint water works. WJWW supplies water to its member municipalities and to portions of the cities of Rye and New Rochelle, serving 59,629 consumers through 14,682 service connections. WJWW also supplies water on a wholesale basis to the Village of Larchmont and Suez Water Westchester, which supplies water to the City of Rye, Village of Rye Brook and Village of Port Chester, which collectively represent approximately another 60,000 consumers.

Dominican College Graduates to Become DUNY

BLAUVELT, NY—Dominican College has been elevated to the status of a university, becoming the first university in Rockland County. Dominican College President Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, O.P., Ph.D., announced on May 18 that New York State Board of Regents had granted Dominican College university status and approved the name change to Dominican University New York.

“This is an important milestone in our history as we prepare to celebrate our 70th anniversary,” said Sr. Mary Eileen. “Changing our name to Dominican University New York brings formal recognition to the caliber of our academic programs. With our new name comes additional prestige and more opportunities for the school and our students.”

Dominican offers a range of undergraduate programs and graduate programs in nursing, business, occupational therapy, education, and organizational leadership and communication. In addition, it has the distinction of being the only institution in Rockland County to offer doctoral degrees—including Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Doctor of Nursing Practice 

Dominican officials stand next to the new signage reflecting its name change to Dominican University. The New York State Board of Regents granted Dominican College university status and approved the name change to Dominican University New York on May 18.

(DNP). Dominican has a strong academic reputation for its liberal arts, business, education, and health-related programs. Recently, Dominican added programs in finance, information technology, health sciences, and marketing. Dominican also caters to adult learners through programs in the evenings, on weekends, or online.

The news of the university status follows earlier announcements that Dominican had secured two federal grants, one from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the other from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dominican was one of only 10 higher education institutions nationwide and the only one in New York State to receive the HHS grant and will use the funding to launch a new Public Health Informatics and Technology (PHIT) program this fall.

“The news about our university status coupled with the infusion of the federal funds will certainly raise the profile of our school,” said Sr. Mary Eileen.

Dominican was granted university status by the New York State Board of Regents based on the fact that Dominican offers graduate programs in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.

Founded in 1952 by the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, the college began as a two-year college for religious women to become educators. Over the years, the campus expanded to accommodate a growing enrollment and to welcome resident students. A number of new buildings were constructed including an athletics facility, residence halls, a dining hall, and a new academic building for health and science education. The most recent construction was the expansion of the Hennessy Center with a new gymnasium and fitness center. A new turf field is anticipated for 2023. Dominican has a total of 17 NCAA Division II sports teams, as well as a competitive rowing club and a new esports team.

Despite Headwinds, H.V. Officials Forecast Strong Construction Market Through 2022

By JOHN JORDAN – April 26, 2022

CHESTER, NY  — Let’s hope our top elected officials in the Mid-Hudson Valley are right at reading the winds of fortune in their respective communities. Their recent forecasts given to contractors and leaders of organized labor indicate building and construction will continue to prime the region’s economy in 2022 as the nine-county area emerges  from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These county officials also heard from the heads of organized labor with an impressive project list of both public and private work projects that are breaking ground this year or already under construction that should keep their union members working on job sites.

Both politicians and building trades representatives noted that escalating costs due to the rapid rise in inflation could impact project work in 2022 and lead to some delays.

The meeting, held in late March at the Glenmere Mansion in Chester, NY drew more than 50 leaders from the public and private sector to the eighth annual joint labor-management coalition called the Hudson Valley Construction Industry Partnership (HVCIP). Making presentations at the session were Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Orange County Deputy County Executive Harry Poor, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.

The program was moderated by John Cooney, Jr., executive director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., of Tarrytown. Alan Seidman, executive director of the Construction Contractors Association of Newburgh, NY, also supported the event.

Both politicians and building trades representatives noted that escalating costs due to the rapid rise in inflation could impact project work in 2022 and lead to some delays.

Rockland County Executive Day began by noting that road conditions in some sections of the region are “horrible.” He said, “One would think that the one thing you can do is make sure the roads are paved and are decent. The roads are horrible. And I know it is not the DOT. We have professionals there; they do a great job. It’s not the workers, it’s not the management, it’s a failure by the state to fund.”

Mr. Day continued, “There is no reason why with the (federal infrastructure funds) being thrown around right now in the budget process they cannot come up with the basic thing that Sen. Alfonse D’Amato ran on and won on if I recollect—potholes. The roads should be pristine.”

Mr. Day said Rockland’s long-awaited, $30-million-plus Highway Department garage project should be completed this year, adding that the bonding necessary for the construction of the $8-million Hi-Tor Animal Shelter has been approved and construction will begin this year. The county also plans to move forward with improvements to the county’s Fire Training Center.

One concern moving forward is higher costs, he said, noting that rising inflation and costs pressures that have resulted “are creating a major issue right now.” While the county is meeting with the building trades to maintain and improve Project Labor Agreements, he said that bids are beginning to come back that are way above county project estimates.

“What I would urge us all to consider is that I recognize the increased cost scenario, I get it, but please give some thought to what happens when you over-project and when you over-cover your possibilities,” Mr. Day related. What may happen is the county rejects all bids and reassess its project priorities, he noted.

Regional Roundup

Rockland County

  •  Hi-Tor Animal Shelter
  •  Fire Training Center

Dutchess County

  •  Justice and Transition Center
  •  $18 million to $20 million in road projects.
  •  New Homeless Shelter

Orange County

  •  Regionwide Improvements with IIJA funding, including 33 miles of road paving
  •  New Medical Examiner’s facility
  •  ADA improvements and asbestos removal at county buildings
  •  OC Airport in Montgomery upgrades and improvements
  •  East Main St. in Middletown drainage and improvements

Ulster County

  •  County Operations Center
  •  New facility for mental health and addiction treatment
  •  Crisis Stabilization Center
  •  Advocating to save the Castle Point Veteran Affairs facility

Dutchess County Executive Molinaro also pointed to rising project costs as a concern in 2022. The largest county capital construction project in its history—the $154-million Dutchess County Justice and Transition Center—is underway. He also said between $18 million to $20 million in road paving projects are going out to bid in the next several months.

Mr. Molinaro noted that bids went out on that project three years ago and the job is $25 million under budget. He said that if the job went out to bid today it would probably run approximately $60 million or $70 million over budget. The county will also embark on the construction of a new homeless shelter utilizing mostly federal funds.

He noted that inflation has impacted the county’s plan to improve Dutchess Stadium and that for many of its projects, bids have come in about 60% over county projections. He said these bids that are factoring in increased material and labor costs will slow down the county’s capital program. Mr. Molinaro believes the nation is heading towards an inflation-fueled recession in the next 12 to 24 months.

Orange County Deputy County Executive Porr said that the county will be receiving approximately $70 million in one-shot federal revenues. “Our attitude or philosophy has been that the best thing to do with one-shot revenues is to invest them in capital projects and that is what we intend to do,” he told the attendees.

The Neuhaus Administration plans to build a new $20-million Medical Examiner’s facility. Bids on that project are expected to go out in June. He also noted that the county has a serious bidder for a portion of the former Camp LaGuardia property in Chester/Blooming Grove that would involve the development of a warehouse building totaling approximately 900,000 square feet.

The county will be paving approximately 33 miles of roads in 2022 and will also embark on ADA improvements and asbestos removal at county buildings; a host of park upgrades, improvements at the Orange County Airport in Montgomery as well as drainage and road work on East Main Street in Middletown and other road, bridge and infrastructure projects throughout the county.

Ulster County Executive Ryan said the county will be receiving $34.5 million in federal funding. “I think Ulster County is really on fire and exploding right now…I grew up in Kingston and I have never before seen the momentum and the energy and the positivity, the capital, the talent. Young people whom I grew up with and who left are starting to come back to all parts of Ulster County, he said.

The major county government project at the moment is the development of a new state-of-the-art County Operations Center. Ulster County will also be building a major capital project in connection with its renewed commitment to mental health and addiction services. The county also just put out to bid a Crisis Stabilization Center. Major private projects in Ulster County include redevelopment work at the former IBM site outside of Kingston valued at approximately $200 million and a new marijuana distribution facility at a former factory site in Ellenville. He also asked for support for the county’s efforts to save the Castle Point Veteran Affairs facility, which has been recommended for closure, but is in need of significant improvements.

Stephen J. Reich, Financial Secretary/Treasurer of the Rockland County Building and Construction Trades Council, said there are a number of significant private projects moving forward that were not expected, including a Data Center venture in Orangeburg and upcoming site work on a Jehovah Witness Multimedia Center in Ramapo in anticipation for construction on this large-scale project.

Public work includes several New York State Thruway jobs in the offing, but he termed prospects for NYSDOT work as weak.

  1. Todd Diorio, president of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, cited a host of major projects in the Hudson Valley including a $300-million mental health facility, the marijuana distribution facility in Ulster County, the redevelopment of the IBM project in Ulster County and major hospital projects that will be undertaken by Westchester Medical Center at its facilities throughout the region.

“The outlook for the Hudson Valley (in 2022) looks good,” Mr. Diorio said. “

Mr. Diorio also acknowledged the impending retirement of Mike Gaydos, Recording Secretary of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, who also serves as Business Manager of Ironworkers Local No. 417 in Wallkill, NY.

“I get a lot of the credit sometimes running the Building Trades, but I have been fortunate to work with some really good officers over the years,” Mr. Diorio said. “Mike Gaydos has been with me since day one and he is not one of those guys who takes all the credit, but he’s always been there and has always had my back. Mike you are going to be missed.”

Gov. Earmarks Up to $1B for Rt. 17 Expansion

By JOHN JORDAN – April 26, 2022

ALBANY  — The most consequential economic development project for the mid-Hudson Valley region in decades is not a major corporate relocation, a large lease deal or a new massive warehouse developed by a national e-commerce giant. Instead, it will be a major infrastructure project that will surely facilitate mega deals like those mentioned above in the coming years.

Advocates for the expansion of Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties learned on April 9 that their efforts had borne fruit as Gov. Kathy Hochul­­—in touting her $32.8

A NYS DOT study released late last year estimates the addition of a General Use Third Lane from Harriman to Monticello would cost anywhere from $650 million to $1.27 billion to complete.

billion, five-year capital plan for the New York State Department of Transportation—noted that the state would earmark up to $1 billion of the capital plan to “accelerate the conversion of the Route 17 corridor in Orange and Sullivan counties to Interstate 86, fueling transformative levels of economic growth in the region and improving quality of life by alleviating congestion.”

The New York State Department of Transportation is now expected to begin the environmental study on the Route 17 expansion project based on a final report from the New York State Department of Transportation’s Route 17 Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study group released in November 2021. The PEL report recommended the state move forward with an environmental review of a General Use Third Lane in each direction on Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties that could, if built as one major project, cost anywhere from $650 million to $1.27 billion. The PEL Study Group also called for a study of interchange upgrades be undertaken at exits in Orange and Sullivan counties and that improvements be made in the region to improve connectivity to existing transit.

While Gov. Hochul had called for NYSDOT to begin the environmental review process in her State of the State message earlier this year, her announcement earlier this month of a funding commitment of up to $1 billion is seen by project advocates as a major victory.

“We thank Gov. Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature for making Route 17 a priority for investment,” said 17-Forward-86 Coalition co-chair Maureen Halahan, president and CEO of the Orange County Partnership. “This project will improve mobility and safety in the region by making much-needed upgrades to Route 17. It’s been a long road to this point, and we’re overjoyed to see this project finally move forward now that the necessary resources have been allocated.”

17-Forward-86 is a coalition of industry, trade and civic representatives that has been advocating for adding an additional travel lane along Route 17 to convert the corridor to Interstate 86 in Orange and Sullivan counties. The Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. and the Building Contractors Association of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region were one of the founding members of the organization.

John Cooney, Jr., Executive Director of the CIC, said of the governor’s announced funding commitment: “The CIC and the 17 Forward-86 Coalition thank the governor and the NYS DOT for their forward commitment to funding the critical conversion of Route 17 to I-86 in Orange and Sullivan counties.”

Marc Baez, President and CEO of the Sullivan County Partnership, added, “We are grateful to the governor and our local, state and federal lawmakers—and to the thousands of stakeholders working with us to see this project become a reality. Baez, who is co-chair of the 17-Forward-86 coalition, added, “This is good news for our residents, visitors, first-responders and all those who travel Route 17. We now have the chance to improve safety on this corridor and ensure sustainability for generations to come.”

According to the final PEL Study Group report, the scope of the construction of the General Use Third Lane beginning at Exit 131 in Harriman (Orange County) to Exit 103 (Rapp Road) in Monticello in Sullivan County would determine the cost of the project.

Option 1, which involves using the basic existing footprint of the roadway and shoulders to accommodate a third lane in each direction would cost $385 million to $470 million for the Orange County stretch of roadway and another $265 million to $325 million in Sullivan County.

Under Option 2, which would involve widening the existing roadway to accommodate the third lane expansions in both directions so that most of Route 17 would conform to federal Interstate standards, the costs would escalate. For the Orange County section, the cost would run between $615 million to $750 million, while the Sullivan County component’s cost ranges from $425 million to $520 million.

The PEL Study Group did not recommend one option over the other and also while listing interchanges in Orange and Sullivan counties that could be upgraded, it did not issue any specific recommendations, although it did point out those with the greatest need.

The study indicated the cost of the interchange upgrades in Orange County could run from $135 million to $175 million and in Sullivan County from $43 million to $144 million.

Improvements to Connectivity to Existing Transit projects are projected to cost between $1 million to $1.5 million in Sullivan County and $9 million to $10 million in Orange County.

While study group officials have stated at previous virtual public workshops that the full project would likely not move forward all at once due to funding constraints and other factors, the report listed the total project cost involving the construction of the General Use Third Lane, interchange improvements and improvements to connectivity to existing transit projects would run from $529 million to $935 million in Orange County and $309 million to $665.5 million in Sullivan County.

The Route 17 expansion will qualify for some federal funding. However, it is likely that the overall project would be done in phases and based on the report it appears work would begin on a stretch of the roadway in Orange County.

“As previously noted, NYSDOT will determine the logical termini and specific project limits of the General Use Third Lane Alternative in the future, following careful consideration of existing and projected traffic congestion, public and agency input, and available funding,” the report stated. “Based on this Route 17 PEL Study, the area of greatest need appears to be between Exits 120 (NY Route 211 – Wallkill) and 131 (Woodbury), a distance of approximately 22 miles, and the segment of the corridor that is projected to experience the highest levels of congestion in the year 2055.”

The 17-Forward 86 coalition recently hosted a rally at the Galleria at Crystal Run in the Town of Wallkill with local, state and federal representatives to urge Gov. Hochul and state legislators to commit construction funding as part of the NYSDOT capital plan by using part of the more than $5 billion in additional funding earmarked for New York State under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“As New York State continues to rebuild, we must seize opportunities to get our local economy back on track,” said Greg Lalevee, business manager, IUOE Local 825, and member of the 17-Forward-86 Coalition. “One of the surest ways to do that is to get people to work and to attract investments here in Orange and Sullivan counties. Infrastructure plays a key role in all of this and upgrading the Route 17 corridor will go a long way toward helping our region recover and prosper. The construction project itself will create good-paying jobs and the end result will be a safer and more efficient means of transportation for all residents and visitors in the Hudson Valley.”

Mount Vernon to Receive $168M to Address Long-Standing Water Infrastructure Problems

MOUNT VERNON, NY  — New York State reported on April 15 it would be making a $150-million investment and a three-way partnership between the City of Mount Vernon, State of New York and Westchester County to immediately advance work to address longstanding water infrastructure and related public health challenges that have plagued the City of Mount Vernon for decades.

At an event at Mount Vernon’s City Hall, Gov. Kathy Hochul also announced the immediate launch of the $7-million “Third Street Sewer Project,” that, when complete, will ensure reliable wastewater service for 500 nearby households currently served by temporary pumps and a makeshift system staged in the street to ensure adequate wastewater collection.

The State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation will also provide $8 million to fund emergency repairs and jump start long-term planning for future projects, including lead pipe replacement. Funding includes a $5-million interest-free emergency loan and a $1-million grant to survey lead service

Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard signs the Memorandum of Understanding with the State of New York and Westchester County that will expedite priority projects to improve the city’s water infrastructure.

lines in the city and to develop a replacement plan. EFC will also dedicate $2 million for engineering consultant services to accelerate work.

Additionally, Mount Vernon, DEC and EFC have committed to undertake an asset management program that will inventory, assess and track the city’s clean water infrastructure and help create a plan to fund and maintain Mount Vernon’s water quality infrastructure over the long-term.

The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery will supplement the public infrastructure improvements with a $3-million PILOT program to mitigate environmental hazards and make resiliency upgrades to private property. Participating homes will be eligible for rehabilitation of damaged pipes, replacement of lead service lines, and other needed environmental remediation. Those funding awards bring the total investment to $168 million.

The state, city and Westchester County signed a Memorandum of Understanding that is seen as a critical step to Mount Vernon resolving longstanding violations of the Clean Water Act under a Federal Consent Decree.

The state-county-city partnership memorialized in the MOU will expedite priority projects, as well as outline roles, responsibilities, and available funding for the city-wide effort. The agreement formalizes the three-way partnership between the City of Mount Vernon, Westchester County, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, representing multiple state agencies, including the use of $7 million in Clean Water Infrastructure Act funds to immediately launch engineering, design, and construction of the Third Street Sewer Project. Work on projects across the city will take place in phases over five to seven years after a comprehensive assessment of the city’s current infrastructure.

In December, the governor announced a $10-million Water Quality Improvement Project (program grant award from DEC to Mount Vernon that will improve water quality in the Hutchinson River by upgrading one portion of the city’s municipal wastewater outfalls to prevent the discharge of raw sewage. This grant advances work required by the Federal Consent Decree with the city. The NYSDEC also awarded a $75,000 Non-Point Planning Grant to support the mapping of Mount Vernon’s municipal separate storm sewer systems to prevent polluted runoff from affecting local communities and the environment. In addition, EFC provided two Engineering Planning Grants totaling $200,000 in 2021. Additional state investments to help address Mount Vernon’s wastewater infrastructure challenges include a $1.6 million WQIP grant awarded in 2016.

$8B of Econ. Impact from Green Energy Power Lines Moves Forward with PSC OK, Producing 5.0K MWs

ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission earlier this month approved contracts with Clean Path New York LLC for its Clean Path NY project and H.Q. Energy Services Inc. for its Champlain Hudson Power Express project to deliver clean, renewable solar, wind and hydroelectric power from upstate New York and Canada to New York City. The two contracts are expected to generate more than $8 billion in economic development activity for New York State.

Since the closure of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which generated 2,000 megawatts of power, New York State has set a goal of achieving 70% of state energy from renewable resources.

The state’s first-of-its-kind renewable energy and transmission projects are projected to deliver up to $5.8 billion in overall societal benefits statewide, including greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements, and $8.2 billion in economic

The City of New York has agreed to purchase a portion of the renewable attributes generated by the two projects, thus helping to make the scale of these projects possible while creating the opportunity to reduce the cost impact of these projects by up to $1.7 billion to all other ratepayers.

development across the state, including investments in disadvantaged communities. Further, when built these projects will help protect against volatile fossil fuel price fluctuations and stabilize long-term energy costs.

CONSTRUCTION NEWS has previously reported that both projects have committed to Project Labor Agreements and paying prevailing wages. The 1,250 MW CHPE involves the construction of an underground and underwater transmission line spanning approximately 339 miles between the Canada–U.S. border and New York City. Clean Path NY comprises a 175-mile state-of-the-art transmission line, 3,800 megawatts of new in-state solar and wind power, and New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) existing Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Plant, a hydroelectric facility that will strengthen the reliability and resiliency of the project.

As the largest transmission projects contracted for New York State in the last 50 years, these projects will reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuel-fired generation by more than 50% in 2030. The announcement accelerates progress to exceed New York State’s goal for 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 on the path to a zero-emission grid by 2040 as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The contract awards were bolstered by the City of New York’s confirmation that it will join in these landmark awards by agreeing to purchase a portion of the renewable attributes generated by the two projects. This will help make the scale of these projects possible while creating the opportunity to reduce the cost impact of these projects by up to $1.7 billion to all other ratepayers.

The NYS Office of General Services has also committed to entering into a contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for Tier 4 RECs associated with the energy used by state agencies and departments located in New York City.

NYSERDA will also offer renewable attributes from these projects for voluntary purchase, finally enabling the many New York City organizations with interest in switching to clean energy (but who have been unable to do so on-site due to practical constraints) to go on 100% renewable with confidence. The government commitments and likely potential for additional private sector purchases are expected to significantly reduce the statewide utility ratepayer impact of implementing the CLCPA and Tier 4 program.

The PSC’s October 2020 order adopted a Tier 4 program as part of the PSC’s Clean Energy Standard with the purpose of increasing the penetration of renewables into New York City, and directed NYSERDA to conduct a Tier 4 solicitation. In January 2021, NYSERDA issued a Tier 4 renewable energy solicitation seeking projects that can cost effectively and responsibly deliver renewable energy to New York City, an area of the state that relies on aging fossil fuel-fired generation.

The selected projects are expected to deliver 18 million megawatt-hours of clean energy per year, or more than a third of New York City’s annual electric consumption, from a diverse and resilient clean generation portfolio including onshore wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, backed by energy storage, from upstate New York and Quebec. Combining these projects with the existing contracted portfolio of offshore wind projects connecting directly into New York City, turns the page on the city’s energy history, increasing resilience and reliability while significantly improving air quality, state officials noted.

With approval of the contracts, NYSERDA payments will commence for each respective project once the project has obtained all required permits and approvals, has completed construction, and is delivering power to New York City, which is expected to begin in 2025 for the fully permitted CHPE project and 2027 for the CPNY project.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “Not one but two new transmission lines will be built to bring clean renewable energy from the north into New York City—a feat that has not occurred at this scale in decades. I’m proud of the city’s commitment to purchase 100% of its electrical need from these lines, catalyzing others to do the same.”

As a component of these landmark deals, Hydro-Quebec will purchase electricity from the planned Apuiat wind farm, developed by the Innu communities in Quebec, as well as enter into a partnership with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke for joint ownership of the line in Québec that will connect to the Champlain Hudson Power Express.

“Today’s vote is a win for New York and moves forward a project that will create thousands of in-state jobs, reduce harmful pollutants, and invest nearly $189 million in protecting our environment, our neighborhoods, and our planet—all while delivering renewable, reliable, power,” said Transmission Developers CEO Donald Jessome. “It is also a testament to forward-looking public officials who put forward bold clean energy targets and community leaders, environmental advocates, business and labor leaders, academics, and New Yorkers who studied the project and voiced their support for it—the PSC clearly heard and considered all these voices.”

Key benefits of these projects include:

  •  The projects will deliver up to $2.8 billion in public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including avoided premature deaths, reduced asthma-related hospital visits, and lost workdays due to illness.
  •  The projects will create approximately 10,000 family-sustaining jobs statewide with $8.2 billion in economic development investments, helping accelerate the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The project developers have also committed to prevailing wage and project labor agreements to ensure quality, good-paying jobs for New Yorkers.
  •  The two projects committed to investing a combined $460 million in community benefit funds to create pathways to green energy jobs, support public health, advance capital improvement projects, realize habitat restoration and improve the environmental footprint of buildings in disadvantaged communities.

Combined, the projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77 million metric tons over the next 15 years, the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road over this time period.

The two Tier 4 approved contracts combined will result in significant societal benefits up to $5.8 billion. The contracts include an index REC structure to help cushion customers against spikes in energy prices so when electricity prices rise the Tier 4 program costs go down. The average statewide bill impact for the typical residential customer will be approximately 3%, or $3 per month beginning once the projects are in operation.

In addition, these new underground transmission lines will avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental damages including impacts on sensitive species and habitats and be resilient in the face of extreme weather. Both projects are required to go through the PSC’s Article VII permitting process, which includes a full review of the need for the project and any environmental impacts of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in New York State. CHPE has received its Article VII permit, and CPNY will begin the process.

The CPNY and CHPE projects will add to New York’s existing robust pipeline of large-scale renewable energy, comprised of nearly 100 solar, land-based wind, and offshore wind projects totaling 11,000 megawatts of clean power—enough to power over five million New York homes when completed.

Attorney's Column

Court Rebuffs Claim For ‘Payment Over Mechanic’s Lien’


This column has often reminded those in the construction industry that the statutory remedy of a mechanic’s lien is a powerful tool that enables unpaid contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to seek payment directly from property owners who may be strangers to the contractual relationship from which the payment obligation arises. Because of the power of this tool, there are also protections in the Lien Law for owners, such as the insulation from being made to pay for the same improvement twice, which is why it is necessary for a plaintiff in a lien foreclosure action to establish the pool of monies available to pay lien claimants (the “lien fund”).

A similar protection is that a property owner who has not yet been served with the mechanic’s lien cannot be held liable for making payments in good faith to other contractors before that owner receives notice of the lien. The converse of this protection is that an owner who has been served with a mechanic’s lien cannot use subsequent payments to deplete the lien fund, and will not have the “good faith payment” defense available upon the foreclosure of the lien.
However, in the recent case of Crisafulli Bros. Plumbing & Heating Contractors, Inc. v Pirri Builders, LLC, when an inventive subcontractor sought to transform that defense into an affirmative claim in a lawsuit, an appellate court held that the Legislature never intended to create yet another type of claim other than the lien foreclosure claim, and it rebuffed the attempt to invent the new one.


In early 2017, Pearl Enterprises entered into a contract with Pirri Builders to serve as the general contractor for a renovation project in Albany, NY. In March of 2017, Pirri entered into a subcontract with Crisafulli Brothers Plumbing and Heating Contractors for the HVAC and plumbing scopes of work. Crisafulli claimed that it performed its work without objection (but without payment), and as a result was owed a total of $164,708.19. Crisafulli filed two mechanic’s liens, one in October 2018, and the other in January 2019. After being served with these liens, Pearl made two payments, totaling $227,502.00, to Pirri—not Crisafulli.

Crisafulli sued both Pearl and Pirri. As against Pearl, it not only sued to foreclose the mechanic’s lien, but it also asserted a cause of action for “payment over mechanic’s lien,” based on Pearl’s two post-lien payments to Pirri. Pearl moved to dismiss the “payment over lien” claim, arguing that it did not exist under New York law.


The motion court dismissed the “payment over lien” claim, and the appellate court affirmed. In doing so, the court reviewed the plain language of the statute and found that, at best, it provided a safe harbor provision against liability for payments made before the property owner had notice of the mechanic’s lien, and not a separate claim. Under such a reading, the “payment over lien” theory could only be a contractor’s defense against an owner’s attempt to use the safe harbor provision to reduce the lien fund.


The mechanic’s lien provided for under the Lien Law is a powerful tool. However, as a remedy that was not available at common law, it is read strictly so as to not give greater rights than the legislature intended. Accordingly, because the legislature did not clearly provide for the additional claim for the “payment over lien,” the court properly declined to create the claim by judicial fiat.

As a practical matter, Crisafulli had already started a lien foreclosure action, which, upon the facts presented, appears sufficient to enforce Crisafulli’s rights to payment. The safe harbor provision of the lien law—which Pearl was well outside—already exposed Pearl for making the subject payments after having had knowledge of Crisafulli’s lien. While it is understandable for a contractor to want to bring every weapon to bear in order to collect monies owed, in an attempt to create a claim that did not exist, the only thing that this subcontractor did was to buy itself motion practice, and an expensive trip to the Appellate Division.

P.S.- If you are served with a lien, think twice before writing out any checks. Protect yourself.

About the authors: Thomas H. Welby, an attorney and licensed professional engineer, is General Counsel to the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and is the Founder of, and Senior Counsel to the law firm of Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, with offices located throughout the Tri-State/Greater Metropolitan Region. Gregory J. Spaun, General Counsel to the Queens and Bronx Building Association, and an attorney and a partner with the firm, co-authors this series with Mr. Welby. 

Construction NEWS


Hudson Valley Construction Management & Labor Discuss Outlook, Opportunities & Challenges in 2022

50 members of the contracting community and labor gather with counties’ top elected officials on March 29 at Glenmere Mansion in Chester, NY.

Pictured above starting top left moving clockwise:

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

Stephen J. Reich, Financial Secretary/Treasurer of the Rockland County Building and Construction Trades Council

Alan Seidman, executive director of the Construction Contractors Association Hudson Valley in Newburgh

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro

Orange County Deputy County Executive Harry Porr III

Rockland County Executive Ed Day

L. Todd Diorio, president of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council

Longtime union official Michael Gaydos, who serves as business manager of Iron Workers L.U. 417 and recording secretary of the Hudson Valley Building & Construction Council

New ’23 State Budget Includes $33B for Transportation, $4.2B Environmental Bond Up for Vote in November

ALBANY — While construction advocates were hoping for more funding due to record federal investment in infrastructure, New York State’s FY 2023 Budget does feature a record $32.8 billion for transportation infrastructure, and a more than $4-billion environmental bond act to go before voters this November.

The following are some of the highlights of the state budget in terms of funding for the construction and building industry sectors.

Transportation Funding

The FY 2023 Budget includes a $32.8 billion, five-year capital plan for programs and proposed projects administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Under the enacted transportation capital plan, direct support for local roads and bridges increases to more than $6.1 billion over the five-year period, an increase of 

Under the enacted transportation capital plan, direct support for local roads and bridges increases to more than $6.1 billion over the five-year period, an increase of nearly $2.5 billion (69%), including the doubling of funding available through the BRIDGE NY program and the new Operation Pave Our Potholes initiative.

nearly $2.5 billion (69%), including the doubling of funding available through the BRIDGE NY program and the new Operation Pave Our Potholes initiative.

The governor highlighted a host of major projects that will be funded under the five-year capital plan, including earmarking up to $1 billion for the expansion of Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties (See story on page 1).

Other notable large-scale transportation projects that will receive funding under the five-year NYSDOT plan include two major jobs in the Bronx. One project under construction seeks to revitalize a section of the South Bronx by reconstructing the Bruckner Sheridan Interchange at Hunts Point. This project, currently in construction by the New York State Department of Transportation, will transform neighborhoods in the South Bronx by correcting the planning mistakes of the past by prioritizing health and safety. The construction of the new highway interchange; entrance and exit ramps; and rehabilitation of the Bruckner Viaduct will reduce commercial truck traffic in local residential areas; improve mobility, operations and safety; and mitigate poor air quality and harmful emissions in the South Bronx, one of the communities with the highest asthma rates in the nation. This project will also support the sustained growth of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, which provides up to 60% of the produce, meat and fish consumed by New York City residents and visitors, by providing direct access to the campus. The Hunts Point Distribution Center employs more than 6,000 workers. In addition, the project will construct a new 1.5-mile shared-use path providing a connection to the 138th Street bike path heading to Randall’s Island, Manhattan and Bronx River Greenway. The enacted budget includes $550 million toward the final phase of construction. All phases of this project are scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2025.

The NYSDOT plan will also fund a study for covering a portion of the Cross-Bronx Expressway. In partnership with New York City, the new state capital plan includes resources to begin a study that will assess the feasibility of decking sections of the Cross Bronx Expressway. The assessment will consider alternatives for reconnecting communities severed by construction of the viaduct to create new open public spaces, enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety along local streets, and reduce the harmful impacts of noise, air and heat pollution adjacent to the expressway. This assessment represents a critical step toward removing unjust physical and economic barriers to residents of the Bronx, state officials noted.

Clean Energy Infrastructure, Climate Resiliency Funding

The FY 2023 budget will authorize an additional $1.2 billion for the landmark Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, bringing the total investment to $4.2 billion. In addition to the Bond Act, the budget contains a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to support climate change mitigation projects, improve agricultural resources, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for all New Yorkers, as well as a $500-million investment to develop the state’s offshore wind supply chains and port infrastructure. The initiative will create 2,000 jobs in a growing industry, while helping to make New York the offshore wind capital of the country for years to come.

The budget also helps protect public health and advances environmental and economic restoration by extending and enhancing New York’s successful Brownfield Cleanup Program and includes an additional $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding, bringing the state’s total clean water investment to $4.5 billion since 2017.

$25 Billion Housing Plan

The budget will advance a comprehensive $25-billion, five-year housing plan that tackles systemic inequities by creating and preserving 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes with support services for vulnerable populations. The plan also electrifies an additional 50,000 homes as part of the state’s plan to electrify 1 million homes and make another 1 million electrification-ready. Funding includes $5.7 billion in capital resources, $8.8 billion in state and federal tax credits and other federal allocations, and $11 billion to support the operation of shelters and supportive housing units and to provide rental subsidies.

Some of the key highlights of the state housing plan include: 

  •  $1.5 billion for the creation and preservation of supportive housing that provides individuals and families that need supportive services and are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity with the on-site resources they need to thrive and live independently;
  •  $1 billion for new construction of multifamily affordable housing to help individuals and families find new opportunities to live affordably;
  •  $450 million to preserve existing multi-family rental housing that will serve to strengthen existing affordable housing across the state and allow individual and families to remain stably housed;
  •  $400 million to advance homeownership opportunities across the state, especially in historically underserved markets, and to give low-income families the opportunity to have the dream of first time homeownership;
  •  $300 million for senior housing to help older New Yorkers age in place safely in homes that meet their health needs in the communities they love;
  •  $250 million for an electrification fund to improve energy efficiency in low-income housing units;
  •  $220 million for Mitchell-Lama developments across the state to preserve affordability and make important long-term capital improvements as well as the creation of permanently affordable homeownership;
  •  $200 million to preserve public housing outside New York City—this housing often serves the lowest-income New Yorkers and is in need of capital investment; and
  •  $105 million to preserve rural rental properties, and mobile and manufactured home parks.

The FY 2023 Enacted Budget will also address several additional key housing priorities such as $350 million in capital improvements for the New York City Housing Authority and $100 million for the Housing Our Neighbors With Dignity Act to convert vacant commercial properties and distressed hotel properties across the state. Another $85 million in funding will help bring current accessory dwelling units across the state—including basement apartments, garage units, and backyard cottages—into code compliance and improve safety for these alternative housing options.

Safety Watch

Companies Must Maintain Proper Work Rules and Processes For the Loading and Unloading of Materials


When it comes to the loading and unloading of building materials, the case of Secretary of Labor v. 84 Lumber Company shows the importance and need to have in place proper Work Rules that are adequately communicated to and known by employees for their safety and the safety of others.

The ALJ in this Texas case found that the no OSHA safety standard was violated in this instance where the lumber company had in place proper Work Rules that had been communicated to its employees— rules to never allow people to work under elevated loads or pass under the elevated loads of forklifts given the substantial evidence of employee training and the facts in this matter.

The Respondent, 84 Lumber Company (“84 Lumber”), was a vendor of building materials, primarily lumber, to contractors for construction projects with multiple stores nationwide. The 84 Lumber store in Houston, TX, contracted with BLS Trucking for the delivery of this store’s customer orders to respective jobsites. The same number of BLS drivers (between 7-10 generally) were assigned to work at the store. 84 Lumber had a “Work Rule” in place that instructed and communicated to its employees to not let anyone ever work under the elevated loads or pass under the elevated loads of forklifts.

84 Lumber employees would prepare and assemble the order into different bundles or loads of lumber. The next phase would involve an employee known as the dispatcher who would operate a forklift to load the lumber bundles onto the BLS trailer.

At the time of the accident, BLS’s drivers were instructed to remain at the side of the truck, away from the operating path of the forklift, while the dispatcher operated the forklift and thus well outside the 180-degree radius comprising the “zone of danger” of an active forklift. Once a bundle was loaded onto the dispatcher’s forklift, the dispatcher would approach the BLS truck trailer and lower the bundle down to approximately four inches above the truck bed. At this point, the dispatcher would put the forklift in “neutral” and activate the safety brake. Following this, either the dispatcher, or the dispatcher with the assistance of the BLS driver, would, if necessary, place wooden dryers (to make it easier to insert the forks of the forklift under the bundle) under the slightly elevated bundle.

The workers placed the dryers while standing on the ground to the side of the truck bed by sliding them under the slightly elevated bundle. Given the location of the bundle over the bed of the truck trailer, the workers passed behind the stationary forklift to place the dryers on either side of the bundle. Thus, at no point would the placement of dryers cause the dispatcher or the BLS driver to pass under either the forks of the forklift or the slightly elevated bundle (of about four inches) over the truck bed.

The circumstances leading to the underlying accident involved a BLS driver who, after waiting between the semi-truck and the truck’s trailer while bundles were being loaded, approached the dispatcher and asked him if he could move a bundle to the other side of the truck bed so that the “strap could match up.” At this point in time, the BLS driver was standing in front of the front wheel of the trailer. The dispatcher obliged and loaded the requested bundle onto the forklift and then began to back away from the trailer. As the forklift was about two to three feet from the trailer the BLS driver “out of nowhere” ran underneath the forks of the forklift and the elevated bundle and told the dispatcher to get another “bite” on the load.

The dispatcher yelled at the driver at least three to four times to get out from underneath the elevated bundle and also honked the horn, but the driver did not listen and instead kept telling the dispatcher to back-up. The dispatcher continued backing up fearing that an abrupt stop would cause the bundle to fall or the forklift to topple. After a matter of seconds, the bundle fell off the forklift onto the BLS driver, killing him.

OSHA investigated and issued a citation based on the belief that 84 Lumber did not have a process in place to inspect or enforce its work rule. During the proceeding, BLS’s supervisor acknowledged that BLS trained its drivers to never work under a forklift’s forks or suspended loads, and both BLS’s supervisor and 84 Lumber’s manager stated this work rule was common in the industry because of the obvious dangers.

Given the Work Rule in place and circumstances, there was no explicit permission for the BLS’s driver to have stood under the elevated load. However, the Secretary argued the practice of placing dryers under elevated loads as evidence of 84 Lumber’s implicit permission to walk under them. The ALJ disagreed; the evidence showed that the policy in place was that BLS drivers had to wait outside the zone of danger for an active forklift. Dryers were only placed under the load when it had already been lowered three to four inches from the truck bed and from standing on either side of the now inactive forklift, and not on top or below the elevated load.

Although workers were in close proximity to the load, they were not implicitly permitted to be under it. Following the accident, BLS also instituted a new policy requiring drivers to now stand in a designated “muster area,” farther away from the loading area

About the author: Costas Cyprus is an associate attorney practicing construction law and commercial litigation with Welby, Brady & Greenblatt, LLP, in White Plains, NY. He can be reached at 914-428-2100 and at The articles in this series do not constitute legal advice and are intended for general guidance only.

Financial Management

Biden Administration’s 2023 Taxpayer’s Agenda And What It Means for Construction Firms, Owners


On March 28, 2022, President Biden’s Administration released its proposed fiscal year 2023 budget blueprint which contains many notable tax changes. The most notable ones are summarized below and do call for potential tax increases.

Increase of the preferred long-term capital gains and qualified dividends rates to the ordinary income rates for taxpayers with taxable income of more than $1 million.

Observation: The $1-million threshold would be indexed for inflation. Additionally, it appears that the ordinary tax rate would only apply to the long-term capital gains and qualified dividends that exceed the income threshold.

Creation of a so-called “billionaire’s income tax” beginning with the 2023 tax year, which would impose a 20% minimum tax rate on those individuals with assets exceeding $100 million inclusive of unrealized capital gains. Payments of this minimum tax would be treated as a prepayment to be credited against future taxes on realized capital gains, thus avoiding taxing the same amount of gain more than once. Uncredited prepayments may be refunded if unrealized capital gains are significantly reduced in a given year.

Observation: Similar taxes have been proposed over the years, most recently under the Build Back Better plan. The taxing of appreciation of unrealized gains differs substantially from the current income tax framework of taxing realized gains only. Valuations of non-tradable assets, such as real estate, would use the greater of the original or adjusted cost basis. However, there is an “illiquid” election that would apply to those whose tradeable assets make up less than 20% of their wealth in which case the tax would only be imposed on the unrealized gain of the tradeable assets and defer the minimum tax on the remaining assets.

Returning the top individual marginal tax rate to 39.6%.

Observation: Many of the individual tax brackets were lowered beginning in 2018 including the top rate, which was cut from 39.6% to 37%.

Raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%.

Observation: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act substantially cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. This was done in an effort to make the U.S. corporate tax rate more competitive with other low-taxing countries thereby curbing corporations from establishing their operations outside the U.S.

Modifications to estate and gift taxes, including limiting the exemption for generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes and changing the rules for certain grantor trusts.

Observation: The proposal contains many changes targeting this area of taxation. Specifically, a deceased owner of an appreciated asset would realize “a capital gain” at the time of an asset transfer. A GST exemption would apply to direct skips and taxable distributions to beneficiaries no more than two generations below the transferor. Also, remainder interests in a grantor remainder annuity trust (GRAT) would be required to have a minimum value for gift tax purposes of the greater of 25% of the value of the assets transferred to the trust or $500,000 (but not more than the value of the assets transferred).

Taxing carried interest fees earned by hedge fund managers for providing services to a partnership would be taxed as ordinary income rather than capital gains.

Observation: This is another area that has long been the subject of many proposed tax changes and is a known talking point on the campaign trial, but has never come to fruition. Will this be the year that what some call a tax loop-hole be closed?

Imposition of a limit on the deferral of gains from like-kind exchanges of real property to $500,000 for each taxpayer ($1 million for married individuals filing a joint retue return) per tax year.

Observation: The Build Back Better plan contained similar provisions, which would have a drastic impact on many within the construction and real estate industries who use 1031 exchanges to build sizeable real estate portfolios.

Provide the IRS with $14.1 billion in funding of which $798 million will be directed toward improving taxpayer service and $310 million for digital modernization of systems.

Observation: The COVID-19 pandemic only added to the difficulties of the IRS. Millions of tax returns remain unprocessed, including many for carryback refund claims which were to provide much-needed pandemic relief funds for struggling businesses.

Furthermore, the IRS was inundated with unprecedented call volume in response to erroneous notices issued as a result of the processing backup. Antiquated computer systems and the lack of automated phone answering technology also added to the frustration of dealing with the IRS.

As we saw last year, there will undoubtedly be a lot more discussion on Capitol Hill regarding this proposal. The Build Back Better proposal reminded us that no tax change is certain even if one party holds both the White House and Congress.

If you have questions about how such changes could impact your tax position and planning opportunities, reach out to your CPA.

About the author: Phillip Ross, CPA, CGMA is an Accounting and Audit Partner and Chair of the Construction Industry Group at Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLP. For more construction industry thought leadership and content, log on to

Economic Outlook

Hudson Valley Economic Growth Perks Up


The U.S. economy executed a sharp upward, but partial pivot after an unprecedented contraction created by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures enacted to slow the infection. After a record 9.0% quarterly drop in second quarter real GDP, the national economy grew 7.5% in the third, leaving GDP 3.4% lower than the fourth quarter 2019 peak identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The commercial real estate market in the northern suburban NYC market experienced stability and even growth amidst the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on commercial real estate. Westchester’s office leasing in the fourth quarter of 2021 was filled with positive signs, according to a report by Newmark, a commercial real estate advisory company. The Westchester County office market

finished 2021 in a stable position, said Newmark. Leasing activity in 2021 reached 2 million square feet, on par with the county’s pre-pandemic five-year annual average from 2015 to 2019. Demand during the fourth quarter reached a post-pandemic high of 542,000 square feet, enhanced by large deals signed in the East I-287 market and midsize deals in Downtown White Plains. Improved leasing resulted in positive net absorption of 153,750 square feet this quarter and pushed the overall availability rate down to 25.1%, from 25.7% last quarter.

Mitchell Marcus, audit partner at Berdon LLP Accountants and Advisors, noted several recent deals that illustrate how the office sector in Westchester is improving. Those include a lease for 167,270 square feet in Hawthorne for TierPoint; a 105,000-square-foot office lease at 333 Westchester Ave. in White Plains for Amalgamated Life Insurance Company; and a lease for 187,181 square feet for the New York Blood Center at 601 Midland Ave. in Rye, the top lease transaction in Westchester for 2021. The office market has lately been one of Westchester’s strongest sectors.

Turning to the retail market, it has battled great problems, but the sector has shown some signs of life. According to Houlihan Lawrence, a real estate brokerage firm, the fourth quarter of 2021 saw the fundamentals of Westchester retail improve for the second straight quarter, with newly leased space at higher numbers than vacated square footage. Occupancy and lease prices also rose.

Home sales prices continued their surge in the Hudson Valley through 2021, according to a new report from Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, as reported in the Albany Times Union. The surge is a simple supply-and-demand issue: people are moving to the Hudson Valley in unprecedented numbers and there simply aren’t enough homes for sale to keep up. Every county in the area, except Sullivan, was considered a seller’s market in 2021. A seller’s market, according to the report, is defined as having less than six months of inventory—that is, if no new houses came on the market, all existing stock would sell out in less than six months. The total inventory in the Hudson Valley in 2021 was about half of what it was in 2019. According to the report, Columbia County had 4.1 months of inventory at the end of 2021, a year in which the average sales price jumped nearly 18%. In Greene County, there was only 3.9 months of inventory, with home prices rising almost 20%. 

Further south, home prices in Ulster County also jumped nearly 20%, with only 2.8 months of inventory. In Dutchess County, prices rose 15% with 2.1 months of inventory, while in Orange County, prices rose 17%, with only 1.8 months of inventory. The report noted that the average home price increased nearly $50,000 in the last year in the nine-county Hudson Valley region, and that sales prices in the mid- and upper-Hudson Valley were far above their peak during the mid-2000s housing bubble.

The Pattern for Progress report makes note of these national trends, stating that inflation and interruptions in the supply chain are influencing prices, as well as the construction industry still having challenges getting building materials and also dealing with the lack of a workforce, which slows development of both single-family and multifamily homes. The report forecasts that housing prices in the region will continue to rise in 2022, but at a slower rate than in 2021.

A major forecast risk for the economy continues to be the COVID-19 pandemic and the pace of the current efforts to protect the U.S. population against the virus. However, the course of the economic recovery now is also linked to the Federal Reserve’s response to surging inflation. The Russian – Ukrainian war is a new source of uncertainty that can add to inflation and the supply of goods. The enormous loss of lives, jobs and income, and the widespread disruption of human activity from the pandemic will likely result in long lasting changes in consumer behavior and business practices, requiring an indeterminate period of adjustment and recovery. It is too early to tell how inflation fighting and geo political risks will alter the national and local economies.

About the author: Michael J. Paton is a portfolio manager at Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. He joined Tocqueville in 2004. He manages balanced portfolios and is a member of the fixed-income team. He can be reached at (212) 698-0800 or by email at

CIC Goes To Bat For Ukraine

Mohegan, Doyle, Bothar, Fleetwash Secure NYSDOT Project Work

The second annual CIC Softball game will be run as a fundraiser for Ukranian Relief. 100% of sponsorships and donations will be turned over to St. Michael The Archangel, a Ukrainian Catholic church in Yonkers, NY. Father Angelo, pastor of St. Michael’s, assures us that 110% of the funds CIC raises will be sent to the Archdiocese of L’viv in Ukraine to be used to help feed 65,000 refugees.


The softball game will be played at Pierson Park, along the river in Tarrytown at 2 p.m. on Fri., June 3, 2022.


Like last year’s game, there will be only seven innings. Each team will field nine players, and each player will bat every inning.  Like last year each batter will get only one pitch. Unlike last year, because each company can only send one player, we’ve introduced the unlimited substitution rule.

Therefore, a company can send, for example, three players, whom captains Mark Fante from Darante Construction and Manny Foto from Ecco III will rotate in and out of the game as they see fit.


Interested players, sponsors and donors please contact Peter Fiore at

Keep the ball in front of you!


Mohegan, Doyle, Bothar, Fleetwash Secure NYSDOT Project Work

ALBANY—The New York State Department of Transportation recently announced the selection of four apparent low bidders for work in the New York City and Hudson Valley regions.

Fleetwash Inc. of Fairfield, NJ was the lowest of three bidders at $1,066,470.15 for bridge washing and deck sealings at various locations in Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester counties.

Bothar Construction LLC of Binghamton, NY was the lower of two bidders at $1,289,753.70 for scour repair project of nine bridges at various locations in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Schoharie and Sullivan counties.

Doyle Contracting Inc. of Pearl River, NY was the lowest of four bidders at $1,342,508.00 for culvert replacement, Samsonville Road over tributary to the Mombaccus Creek in the Town of Rochester in Ulster County.

Mohegan Associates Inc. of Carmel, NY was the lower of two bidders at $2,147,883.50 for guide rail rehabilitation or replacement at NY Routes 17, 123 and Cross County Parkway at various locations in Orange and Westchester counties.

Vinco, Bhaghiana and Barclay Water Tabbed for Westchester DPW Projects

WHITE PLAINS—The Westchester County Department of Public Works recently reported the selection of three apparent low bidders for work at county facilities.

Vinco Builders LLC of Mahopac, NY was the lowest of six bidders at $1,984,655.00 for Main House Restoration, Muscoot Farm, Somers, NY.

Bhaghiana General Construction, Inc., South Ozone Park, NY was the lowest of 10 bidders at $594,880.45 for masonry repairs, Coachman Family Center at 123 East Post Road in the City of White Plains, NY.

Barclay Water Management, Inc. of Newton, MA was the lower of two bidders at $480,864.00 for countywide water treatment services in Westchester County.


Transit, El Sol, A. Colarusso, Ahern Win NYDOT Projects

ALBANY—The New York State Department of Transportation recently announced the selection of four apparent low bidders for work in the New York City metro/Hudson Valley regions.

Ahern Painting Contractors Inc. of Port Washington, NY was the lowest of five bidders at $32,584,044.72 for bridge painting at various locations in the Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties.

El Sol Contracting (ESII Enterprises) of Maspeth, NY was the lower of two bids at $167,358,000.00 for bridge repairs and painting on the I-287 Gowanus Expressway and Viaduct in Brooklyn.

Transit Construction Corp. of Yonkers, NY was the lowest of seven bidders at $4,185,000.00 for culvert replacements in the towns of New Castle, North Castle, North Salem and Yorktown in Westchester County.

Colarusso & Son Inc. of Hudson, NY was the sole bidder at $11,539,391.00 for PMI Paving—Taconic State Parkway from NY Route 217 to Interstate 90 in the towns of Austerlitz, Chatham and Ghent in Columbia County.

PCI Industries Nabs BRP Bridge Rehabilitation Job

WHITE PLAINS—The Westchester County Department of Public Works recently reported that PCI Industries Corp. of Mount Vernon, NY was the lowest of three bidders at $4,121,000.00 for rehabilitation of two Bronx River Parkway bridges (North and South of Leewood Drive) over the Bronx River (BINs 3348829 & 3348839) in the Town of Eastchester and City of Yonkers.



Ernest Pacchiana

Construction, Real Estate Executive

STORMVILLE, NY – Ernest Leonard Pacchiana, a member of a leading construction family in the region, who enjoyed a long career in both public works and private construction and real estate development, died peacefully at his home here on Jan. 18, 2022 with his family present. He was 84 years old.

Following military service, he began his career working in the family construction business, Thalle Construction, where he managed many municipal and university projects. In time he would embark on his own real estate and residential development career as a certified professional engineer.

“Ernie,” as he was known to friends and family, was born in Mount Vernon, NY on April 8, 1937 to parents Anselmo and Marie Pacchiana. He attended Iona Prep School in New Rochelle, NY, where his football exploits helped the team win the first-ever NYSCHSAA championship.

He then attended Union College in Schenectady, NY where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. 

Ernie joined the U.S. Army and served during the Cold War of the late 1950s as an engineer.

He was a longtime Little League and CYO basketball coach and organizer. In his own family he saw a need for kids who still wanted to play baseball after Little League, so he then created the Pony League middle distance baseball for his youngest son and friends. He also introduced paddle tennis to northern Westchester, and the sport’s courts located in Briarcliff, NY in Westchester were dedicated in his honor.

He was a founding member of the Briarcliff Rotary Club chapter with other local businessmen, and always in the spirit of creating new organizations in his community when he saw the need.

Ernie is survived by his loving wife, Nannette Stone, his five children, Dean, Adam, Jennifer, Jean Marie and Joseph, whom the family said in a statement, “he loved slightly more than his dogs (too numerous to name),” and also his longtime first wife and devoted mother of his children, Kathryn Adams.

While there are no immediate plans for a funeral service due to changing pandemic conditions, a celebration-of-life gathering is planned for Father’s Day weekend. Family members may be contacted for details.

Donations in his memory are requested to be directed to the Briarcliff Rotary Club or the Westchester SPCA.

Statement from Construction Industry Council Executive Director John Cooney, Jr., in Response to Gov. Kathy Hochul State of the State

TARRYTOWN, NY – “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul demonstrated a keen understanding of the needs in our state today, which she outlined in her 2022 State-of-the-State presentation today,” said John Cooney, Jr., Executive Director of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. “We applaud her fervent commitment to accelerate infrastructure improvements and to expand transportation mobility to make the state more business friendly and to make the Empire State the nexus of commerce as a place where opportunities are made available to more New Yorkers.”

Among the projects identified in the plan she noted on Jan. 5 include the accelerate conversion of Route 17 into I-86 in Orange 

and Sullivan counties. She also pointed to other strategic investments New York State has made in the Mid-Hudson Valley which have resulted in the expansion of Woodbury Common and the construction of Legoland and the Resorts World Catskills Casino.

“Over the past several years, projects have been completed by NYSDOT to upgrade sections of Route 17, including reconstruction of the interchange at Exit 131, where Route 17 meets Interstate 87 and Route 32 (Woodbury Common), and reconstruction of Exits 122 and 125 (Legoland) to meet interstate standards. To facilitate future economic competitiveness and alleviate congestion within the region, the State will begin an environmental review to assess the conversion of the full Route 17 corridor in Orange and Sullivan counties to Interstate 86,” the report said.

“For generations, New York has stood as a beacon of hope and prosperity for the nation and people throughout the world. Her plan promises to reinforce and amplify that role,” Mr. Cooney added. “We applaud Gov. Hochul for her panoramic vision and confidence to lead our state past today’s pandemic challenges and to ensure the continued economic growth and infrastructure resiliency.”

Mr. Cooney concluded, “The CIC looks forward to learning more about her plans over the coming months and stand ready to support her in her  commitment to infrastructure as a powerful public resource to connect people to jobs and to connect all New Yorkers for a more prosperous and promising future.”

Julia Maria Apostolou
Samantha Argenio
Sebastian Arreola
Taylor Bruck
Robert Caulfield
Ryan Danyluk

Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund Awards $85,000 to 17 College Students in Hudson Valley Region


TARRYTOWN – Seventeen Hudson Valley college students began the 2021-22 academic year with a $5,000 grant from the Louis G. Nappi Construction Labor-Management Scholarship Fund for undergraduate studies in mathematics, the sciences, engineering and technology.

The scholarship, a major construction industry financial-aid program, was established in 2009 by Louis G. Nappi (1920-2014), a former Chairman (now Emeritus) of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. It was his vision that the hard sciences of mathematics and engineering were keys to re-establishing the U.S. as a world leader in transportation and infrastructure construction.

Comprising representatives from both labor and management, the Louis G. Nappi Scholarship Committee carefully selects candidates who exemplify the high scholastic and personal standards needed to advance in the construction and building industries.

“This scholarship is a living testimony to Louis Nappi,” said Ross J. Pepe, President of the Construction Industry Council, of which Nappi was chairman from 1986 to 1991. “Lou’s commitment to engineering and science lives on today in these scholarships and through these students.”

Mr. Pepe added, “Lou believed that giving students the financial means to pursue higher education and advanced degrees would help our nation’s construction and building industries regain global competitiveness and preeminence.”

Scholarship Committee Chairman William Mascetta, President of Transit Construction Corp. of Yonkers, N.Y., congratulated the winners and reminded them of the value of learning practical skills and avoiding “digital distraction.”

“In this high-tech age, with unlimited access to information, it’s tempting to rely on technology very heavily,” Mr. Mascetta said. “However, remember that we build things and our world of infrastructure is three-dimensional. When you get caught up in digital distraction, it’s like going through life with blinders on. You, as future scientists and executives, must take off the blinders and open yourselves to the full periphery and reality of what we do.”

Mr. Mascetta thanked the members of the Scholarship Committee representing labor and management, and applauded the students’ parents for their support. He acknowledged Lou Nappi’s family for its ongoing commitment, and cited appreciation to Moujalli Hourani, D.Sc., a professor of Engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y., for his guidance of the students and the scholarship program.

Marking its 12th anniversary, the Louis G. Nappi Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $785,000 in 187 grants to some 78 students attending nearly 50 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Candidates mostly reside in the seven-county region of the lower Hudson Valley—Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Ulster, Orange and Rockland—and are related to employees of CIC-member companies or affiliated unions. The participating labor unions are Laborers International Union of N.A. Local 60, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 456.

Scholarship Winners

Julia Maria Apostolou, 19, of Yorktown Heights, NY, is a sophomore studying civil engineering at the University of South Carolina. She is the daughter of James Apostolou who is a member of Teamsters & Chauffeurs L.U. 456 of Elmsford, NY. Julia Maria is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Samantha Argenio, 21, of Carolina Beach, NC, is a senior studying business administration with a concentration in finance at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She is the granddaughter of a principal at Argenio Bros., a member company of the Contractors Association of Rockland County. Samantha is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Sebastian Arreola, 20, of Danbury, CT, is a junior studying computer engineering at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. He is the grandson of Mario Anaya of Heavy Construction Laborers L.U. 60. Sebastian is also the recipient of three Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grants from 2018 to 2020.

Taylor Bruck, 19, of New Paltz, NY, is a sophomore studying computer science at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. She is the daughter of Thomas Bruck, a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137. Taylor is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Robert Caulfield, 19, of Blauvelt, NY, is a sophomore studying civil engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. He is the son of Timothy Caulfield of Yonkers Contracting Co., Inc., a CIC-member company. Robert is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Ryan Danyluk, 21, of New Windsor, N.Y., is a senior studying civil engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. He is the son of Peter Danyluk of Walsh Construction/Grace Industries, a CIC-member company. Ryan has now been a recipient of four Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant awards (2018-2021). Nice going, Ryan!

Massimo Fante, 19, of Sleepy Hollow, NY, is a sophomore studying biological sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is the son of Mark Fante of Darante Construction Ltd., a CIC-member company. Massimo is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Jamie Lynn Fortunato, 20, of Fairfield, CT, is a junior studying biology and pre-health at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is the granddaughter of Anthony Guido, a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137. Jamie Lynn is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Daisy Godoy, 22, of Lagrangeville, NY, is a senior majoring in architectural technology at New York Institute of Technology. She is the daughter of Jesus Godoy, a member of Heavy Construction Laborers L.U. 60. Daisy is also a recipient of a 2020 Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant.

Mark Griffin, 19, of Yonkers, NY, is a sophomore majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Buffalo. He is the son of Lisa Griffin and nephew of Vincent Romagnoli of Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc., a CIC-member company.

Alyssa Mangone, 21, of Hartsdale, NY, is a senior studying business management at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. She is the granddaughter of George Meinel and niece of James Meinel who are members of Operating Engineers L.U. 137 of Briarcliff, NY. Alyssa now has been the recipient of four Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grants (2018-2021).

Sophia Mangone, 18, of Hartsdale, NY, is a freshman at SUNY Oneonta. She is the granddaughter of George Meinel and niece to James Meinel who are members of Operating Engineers L.U. 137 of Briarcliff, NY.

Cooper Mistishin, 19, of Lake Areal, PA, is a sophomore studying software engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is the son of Michael Mistishin, an employee of Peckham Industries, a CIC-member company.

Daniella Mulvey, 21, of Valhalla, NY, is a senior studying architecture at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. She is the daughter of Dennis Mulvey, an employee of Stratis Contracting Corp., a CIC-member company. Daniella is also the recipient of a Louis G. Nappi Scholarship grant in 2020.

Nicholas Mulvey, 18, of Valhalla, NY, is a freshman studying civil engineering at Bucknell University in Bucknell, PA. He is the son of Dennis Mulvey, an employee of Stratis Contracting Corp., a CIC-member company.

William Roberts, 18, of Montrose, NY, is a freshman studying computer engineering at George Washington University. He is the son of a member of Teamsters & Chauffeurs L.U. 456 of Elmsford, NY.

Ava Zorilo, 19, of Wappingers Falls, NY, is a sophomore studying Health Science at Pace University in Westchester. Ava is the daughter of a member of Operating Engineers L.U. 137 of Briarcliff, NY.

For information on the program, contact Karen Zedda at (914) 631-6070 or

Massimo Fante
Jamie Lynn Fortunate
Daisy Godoy
Mark Griffin
Alyssa Mangone
Sophia Mangone,
Cooper Mistishin
Daniella Mulvey
Nicholas Mulvey,
William Roberts,
Ava Zorilo,

Construction News Back Issues

January 2022

February 2022

March 2022

April 2022

May 2022

June 2022

July 2022

August 2022

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

April 2021

May 2021

June 2021

July 2021

August 2021

September 2021

October 2021

November 2021

December 2021

January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020

December 2020

July/August 2019

Labor Issue 2019

October/November 2019

December 2019

Scroll to Top