Slaughter Pushes Congress for More Than $2 Million for Rochester’s Harbor Maintenance
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter pushed congressional leaders today to support Rochester area workers and businesses by including critical support for the Rochester Harbor in a must-pass government operations bill. Slaughter’s push would secure $2.32 million to support the operation and maintenance of Rochester Harbor, and would allow the harbor to undergo critical dredging operations to preserve its effectiveness as a commercial port. The harbor’s primary commercial use is the shipment of cement from Ontario, Canada, to the Essroc Cement Corporation’s wholesale distribution center located in Rochester Harbor. A loss of federal funding would severely impact Essroc, costing Monroe County up to $4 million in annual economic output and increasing construction costs throughout the region. Rochester Harbor stands as Monroe County’s gateway to the Great Lakes, which support more than 130,000 jobs and $18 billion in annual revenue along their shores.
“The Rochester Harbor is a crucial driver for job creation and construction projects in Monroe County,” said Rep. Slaughter. “Without proper maintenance, the businesses that count on the use of this valuable harbor run the risk of closing, threatening jobs and raising the cost of doing business across our region. That’s why I won’t stop fighting to ensure Rochester’s Harbor can continue its operations and support economic growth across Western New York. After all, Rochester put the ‘Roc’ in Essroc!”
Rep. Slaughter made the request in a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development as it considers the priorities for the FY16 budget. The full letter is attached.
Essroc supports at least 20 jobs in the City of Rochester and approximately $400,000 in annual state and local tax revenue that supports local schools and roads. Additionally, the cost of cement across the Rochester area could increase as much as 15 percent due to higher shipping costs.
Serving as co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force, Congresswoman Slaughter has a long history of supporting Rochester’s job-supporting waterways. In May 2013, Rep. Slaughter secured more than $2.32 million for the dredging of the Rochester Harbor and Irondequoit Bay. Slaughter successfully passed historic legislation that established the Great Lakes Navigation System, which helped maintain our region’s critical waterways by for the first time treating the Great Lakes as a single entity and not pitting lakeside communities against one another for the purposes of transportation and development support.