Town Halls will be Held in Flanders, Port Jefferson, Huntington & Centereach; Upcoming Series of Events Part of County Executive’s Community Outreach Program.
Suffolk County, NY - April 18, 2017 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced a series of upcoming town halls to inform residents of the proposed Reclaim Our Water: Septic Improvement Program. This first-of-its-kind water quality improvement program in Suffolk County would provide eligible homeowners grant funding and low-interest financing through CDCLI Funding Corp. to help pay for advanced wastewater treatment systems.
The first event will be held in Flanders on Monday, April 24 at 7 PM. Subsequent town halls will be held in Port Jefferson, Huntington and Centereach in an effort to help answer questions and provide key information on how the program would operate if approved. Additional town hall meetings will be announced in the weeks ahead.
“These town hall meetings are an important way to educate residents on how this program would work and how they can benefit through financial incentives it will provide,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “I encourage all residents to attend an event in their own community to learn how they can help reverse decades off nitrogen pollution in their own backyards."
The series of town halls addressing clean water and nitrogen pollution are as follows:
East End Town Hall
Monday, April 24 – 7 PM
David W. Crohan Community Center/Flanders Senior Center
655 Flanders Road, Flanders
Port Jefferson Town Hall
Thursday, April 27 – 7:30 PM
Port Jefferson Village Center
101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson
Huntington Town Hall
Monday, May 8 – 7 PM
Huntington Public Library – Main Branch
338 Main Street, Huntington
Centereach Town Hall
Friday, May 12 – 7:30 PM
Middle County Library – Centereach Branch
101 Eastwood Boulevard, Centereach
The town halls will include presentations from County Executive Bellone along with officials from the County Department of Health Services Division of Environmental Quality, among others. These meetings are part of County Executive Bellone’s recently announced community outreach campaign as part of a coordinated effort to promote his proposed Reclaim Our Water: Septic Improvement Program. An estimated 400 Suffolk County homeowners would be selected to receive the funding under the first two years of the program. Through the year 2021, the program will be funded with $2 million each year from the Suffolk County Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund. If approved by the Suffolk County Legislature, the program would be scheduled to launch on July 1, 2017.
Under the program, homeowners would apply for a grant to cover the cost of an advanced wastewater treatment system. The grant, up to $11,000, would enable eligible homeowners to cover the costs of systems that cost between $14,500 and $17,500. In addition to the grant, homeowners could qualify to finance the remaining cost over 15 years at a fixed interest rate of three percent. In comparison, the cost to install or replace a conventional cesspool or septic system with no capabilities to reduce nitrogen is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
The Septic Improvement Program falls under the auspice of County Executive Bellone’s Reclaim Our Water initiative. Reclaim Our Water, which was launched in 2014, includes $383 million in federal and state aid for the largest expansion of sewer infrastructure in Suffolk County since the 1970s, and the release of the 2015 Suffolk County Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan, which provides critical recommendations to manage and protect the region’s water resources.
Suffolk County’s Septic Demonstration Pilot Program has tested new nitrogen reducing wastewater treatment technologies, and 42 homeowners were selected by lottery to receive systems at no cost, including free installation, maintenance and monitoring for five years. To date three technologies that have proven to be effective under the Demonstration Project have been approved for use in Suffolk County. More than 360,000 homes in Suffolk County, more than the entire state of New Jersey, rely on outdated cesspools and septic systems that do not treat properly wastewater to remove nitrogen.