ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — Now that President Biden has signed the $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill into law, many are asking what could it mean for people in here the Finger Lakes region?
The two key measures in this bill our region of New York will see the most impact from is the $110 Billion allocated to fixing bridges and roads, and $65 billion for broadband expansion. Farmers and those who live or work in rural counties are looking forward to how it can better their lives.
Leslie Hamilton is a third-generation farmer, she works and lives on Triple H. Farms, started by her grandfather in Livingston County. A place that does not always get the best internet service while they work.
“It’s unreliable,” Hamilton told us. “We make a lot of jokes about watching the router more often than your screen. Overall, we need better infrastructure as a whole. I know like 1:00 pm it’s usually worse here for some reason.”
Her main harvest is corn, soybeans, peas, and green beans. A process that relies on state-of-the-art equipment to compete in this digital era of doing business. So, access to the more efficient internet would be a big boost for her farm.
“A lot of that really relies on broadband to transfer system updates or data,” Hamilton explained. “People are for example downloading yield data which would make decisions for the next year. What kind of seed varieties do we want to purchase next year? What worked and didn’t?”
Distributing all this money nationwide and building each project is expected to take at least five years. Those with the New York Farm Bureau explain how the state will apply for its share.
“We don’t know when that money is going to start to roll out, hopefully in the next few months,” Steve Ammerman with the Bureau said. “The state will be more than likely helping manage that money and working with public utilities to make those connections in dealing with private service providers.”
But this long bureaucratic system frustrates Rep. Chris Jacob’s of New York’s 27th District who voted against the bill. Adding the price tag passes on a significant burden to America’s future generation without solely focusing on infrastructure needs.
“I’m supportive of Broadband, I fought for broadband funding,” Rep. Jacobs argued. “We have about a billion dollars of Broadband money that’s currently in the system we need to get out. I’m not going to play the game where we’re being held hostage for a socialist wish list and that’s what’s happening.”
This Infrastructure Bill did receive support across the aisle from republicans Rep. Tom Reed and Rep. John Katko. Other measures this nationwide project included are $55 billion for access to clean drinking water and $39 Billion for Public Transit like repairing Amtrack Railways.