July 31, 2013 - North Babylon - In his ongoing commitment to bring sewers to the underserved communities of Babylon at minimal cost to homeowners, Legislator Lou D’Amaro (D-North Babylon) successfully secured $2 million in Suffolk County’s recently approved Capital Budget and Program to finance a design report for the six most critical sub-areas, as identified in the initial sewer feasibility study.
“In late spring, I met with Suffolk County Department of Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Gilbert Anderson to discuss how to move forward now that the feasibility study was complete,” D’Amaro said. “We determined that the timing was right for DPW to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to complete an engineering report for the most critical locations within the study area. Accordingly, with the assistance of my fellow Babylon Legislators, I successfully lobbied my colleagues to include $2 million in the 2014-2016 Capital Program that was unanimously approved by the full legislature and subsequently signed into law by County Executive Steve Bellone.”
Completed in 2012, the initial Sewer Feasibility Study identified Three Tiers for possible sewer expansion within the hamlets of Deer Park, North Babylon, Wyandanch, Wheatley Heights, West Babylon and West Islip. The Tiers prioritized 29 sub-areas within these hamlets, using various criteria to rank the communities that would derive the most immediate benefit from sewers. Criteria included depth to groundwater ratios, with shallow areas receiving a higher priority, parcel density, with smaller more tightly packed parcels receiving a higher priority, proximity to streams and wetlands and economic revitalization opportunities, all of which are considered central to sewer expansion.
According to D’Amaro, under the scope of this new RFP, engineers will be tasked with issuing a design report that will detail the exact costs to homeowners residing within the top six sub-areas should sewers eventually be constructed. The engineering design report will also make these areas essentially ‘shovel ready’ for construction while at the same time providing County officials with a clear game plan that we can utilize to secure the necessary sewer installation funding from outside sources. Once the in-depth analysis of the first six sub-areas is complete, the Legislature can re-evaluate and determine the costs to analyze additional priority areas.
“As I have repeatedly said in the past, and still maintain, although sewers are vital from both an environmental and economic development stand point, expansion costs cannot be placed exclusively on the backs of our already overburdened homeowners and taxpayers,” he said. “Accurate identification of the costs involved is critical and no decisions concerning actual sewer construction will be made without community support. We have made tremendous progress with the study so far and I am looking forward to seeing the next step in the process come to fruition.”
Contact: Karen Klafter
Tel: (631) 854-4433 & Energy
Fax: (631) 854-4415