Possible bond on the horizon
BRIGHTWATERS—Over 100 residents attended a Brightwaters Village Board Meeting last week regarding the possibility of bonding money for necessary infrastructure and equipment needs.
During a PowerPoint presentation assessing the state of the village’s infrastructure, Trustee Christian Sullivan noted that as a result of flooding from an extreme weather event in August 2014 – which consisted of 13 inches of rainfall – 114 feet of bulkhead was washed out, necessitating repairs costing $80,000. Initial estimates of at least 1200 linear feat along the west concourse and 382 linear feet along the west concourse of the Brightwaters canal need reconstruction.
“If these sections are not replaced soon, the canal is susceptible to having sections potentially collapse,” said Sullivan.
A century-old barn that had been utilized by the Village Highway Department for storage as well as an employee locker/break room was also destroyed.
“The building was in such disrepair that it was condemned and had to be demolished,” he said.
As a result, employees reorganized an existing trailer for use as an office, break room and restroom. Since a cost estimate for replacing the building was deemed excessive, trustees approved the idea of leasing a larger trailer for the next fiscal year.
Sullivan then stated numerous roads are also in major disrepair and in need of repaving, with 17 roads rated as “severe.” An initial estimate for repaving 16 roads (31 percent of village roadway) is $1.4 million.
“If roads are not repaved soon, they will need to be rebuilt for a significantly greater expense,” said Sullivan.
Two heavy-duty trucks are in need of replacements, while the village needs a new wood chipper, amounting to $22,000 of repair costs for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Meanwhile, Village Hall is in need of painting, carpeting, an air conditioner and emergency lighting, while Wohseepee Cabin also needs emergency lighting as well as a possible chimney repair and ceiling replacement. A handicap accessible ramp is being added to the front of Village Hall, with funding provided by the Town of Islip.
Afterwards, David Tanner, financial advisor from Liberty Financial Services, presented an overview of the funding options available for major infrastructure projects and repairs. Tanner discussed the process of municipal bonding as opposed to “pay as you go” options.
During the open forum, residents asked questions, voiced their opinions, and discussed ideas regarding borrowing money through bonds.
Several residents requested that the board put a potential bond up for referendum. In response, Tanner stated that in his experience as a financial advisor, he had never encountered a municipality going to referendum for bonding on essential infrastructure maintenance, such as the roads and canal.
Other residents also voiced their support in moving forward with bonding, with the general consensus being that the highlighted infrastructure priorities were important and that the work needs to move forward. A recurring theme was what such bonds would end up costing individual taxpayers.
“The board is working diligently to identify the specific projects, their associated costs and what the budget can undertake, and impact to taxpayers,” said village representatives in a statement.
For more information, visit www.villageofbrightwaters.com. A budget hearing on Monday, April 4 at Village Hall will also give further details.
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