Local Officials and Residents React to Sewer Feasibility Findings

Government leaders press study needed to be done to "even begin the conversation."

The Suffolk County Department of Public Works in its continued Sewer Feasability Study for the areas of Deer Park, North Babylon, West Babylon, West Islip and Wyandanch, including the revelation of an estimated cost of over $2 billion and construction time of until at least 2021.

Both officials and some local residents had things to say following the results at the meeting.

"First thing I recogonize is when we do these reports, it scares the pudding out of us," said Legislator Wayne Horsley (R–Lindenhurst), which got a chuckle out of a packed house of over 100 people. "We're trying several things here on the country level... I know this is scary stuff, but we have to go through these steps so we can move the ball forward."

He added: "We're playing some of this by ear, to be frank."

"I passed the original bill to do this study," said Legislator Lou D'Amaro (D–North Babylon). "We're getting info we need to see if this makes sense. We are not here to impose this on you."

D'Amaro added: "We can tell you what the benefits are to this... but this is very preliminary, what we're showing. If we don't take these steps, we can't even begin the discussion."

One of the most outspoken speakers was Matt Groh, a North Babylon resident who ran for Babylon Town Council last Fall. He said his concerns were over whether or not the plans would allow for those in each district subarea to be allowed to choose whether they hook up to the system or not.

"Some sources were not up there for funding this either," he noted. "What about a quarter-cent sales tax? We should use that to cover the sewers." Among his other suggestions was a Capital Improvement Fund to help shave off some of the estimate $2 billion to be spent on the project.

Ranger Sewer August 04, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Howcome NOBODY is bringing up the TAX INCREASE of 2 G's per year ONTOP OF the 9 to 12 G's Hook up? We all know that all of this is LOW BALLED. BTW I was there at the meeting and people said that they would just Leave Long Island and I do not blame them.
Ima Watchin August 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM
THIS CANNOT HAPPEN!!! If taxes go up in these mostly middle class areas, the homes will be unsellable!! No one will buy a house in these areas with taxes of 15K, not going to happen. My taxes are over 11K now, if they go any higher, no one will ever buy my house, sewer or no sewer. This simply cannot be imposed upon homeowners!!!
Ranger Sewer August 07, 2012 at 12:27 AM
This is just a "POOP TAX" but it will be called a "User Fee". The funny thing is that the hardest working people in the county is the Bergen Point Sewer Treatment Plant employees. I see them all the time lifting Sewer Manholes all the time. Checking the whole Collection System. They are Tax Payer money well spent. IF this NEW 2Billion Dollar POOP TAX goes thru, the Employees will be spread thin, very thin. Either new Employees will have to be hired or some part of the system MIGHT not be inspected. This is a problem.
matt August 08, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Much has been said in a short time about the report. However, rather being negative, we need to focus on the positive. The report is a preliminary report, the purpose of which is to prioritize the areas that need sewers the most, and provide a mechanism to get the money needed to do the work. To their credit, elected officials are showing a willingness to address an issue that no one would touch for many, many years. Please review the entire presentation on the website before passing judgment. I am very happy that a tremendous amount of work has gone into developing 29 sub areas, assessing ground water levels and parcel density, prioritizing the areas that are most in need, and projecting the costs to fulfill the need. Read the report, and you will see that this is a significant step in the right direction. Sincerely, Matt Groh, Founder of Concerned Citizens for Sewers, 75 Pacific Street, North Babylon, NY 11703, Cell phone 631-921-0422
matt August 08, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Homeowners, don't be frightened by the numbers. Regarding the one-time hook up fee, Monte Plumbing, Babylon, New York, 587-2822, has been hooking up houses to the SWSD since the district opened in 1982. According to its owner, the cost to fill in cesspools and hook up an average house to the already existing pipe in the street is $3,000 to $5,000. In exchange for such a one-time investment, a homeowner never has to pump or replace a cesspool again, and the value of your property will go up. As to the yearly fees to be hooked up to the sewer district, the "$7,529 to $9,753” number is the projected cost per parcel, not the amount that will be charged to each homeowner. In fact, the elected officials at the meeting pointed out that the purpose of drafting the report is to then present it to different agencies at the state and federal levels to request and obtain funding. As one legislator said, “don’t be afraid of the numbers. When it comes time to get the funding, we will get the funding.” I am not saying that there will not be yearly fees. The usage fee for my modest Mohawk Drive, North Babylon house, is $34 per quarter, the "sewer district - count sewer rate" tax is $345 per year, and the "sewer district - per parcel charge” is $33.66 per year. These fees for a house located in the already existing SWSD are much more realistic than the amounts that are needlessly scaring people. Based on the foregoing, please don’t be scared by the numbers. Matt Groh


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