Sewers headed to Oakdale
Despite a Jan. 28 letter from Brookhaven supervisor Ed Romaine pitching funding for shovel-ready projects involving Mastic and Patchogue Village for sewers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Oakdale hamlet would be the targeted recipient of $26.4 million in state and federal funding, that was turned down in a Great River sewer referendum. He announced the redirecting at the Regional State of Long Island Address on Feb. 8.
Romaine said he found out about the Oakdale selection via a Facebook posting.
“I’m disappointed, because I thought we had a great application with two municipalities that were shovel ready and had voted to move forward on these sewer projects.,” he said. “Obviously, myself, Paul [Pontieri] and [Legis. Rudy Sunderman] will continue to push for additional funds for sewers. We do know there are several areas in the county that can benefit.”
Mastic-Shirley voters approved the measure 414-71, out of a possible 3,300 eligible residents for Phases 1 and 2, but Romaine reached out for extra funds to help complete the already engineered Phase 3. Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri said the funding would help increase the village’s sewage treatment plant from treating 800,000 gallons to 1.2 million per day, sewer more of the village and replace old infrastructure pipes. While Pontieri said he would have liked to receive the funding, he agreed “there are areas in Oakdale where you can’t take showers at certain times, and it’s needed there for environmental purposes.”
The announcement is the start of an involved preparation road. A referendum date must be set, for one thing; it must be approved by residents. Deputy county executive Peter Scully said it’s too early in the planning process to predict when a referendum would occur. As for creating a sewer district, it would be an extension of Suffolk County Sewer District No. 3, he said. “The county will be working with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery in the weeks ahead to clarify how much of the community can be connected using the amount of funding that is being made available,” Scully said in an email. “The size of the project area will be determined as a result of that process.” Completion of the map, plan and report for the engineering studies required to advance the project is expected to take six to eight months.
No new sewage treatment plant would be required. “The project area would be connected to the existing Suffolk County Sewer District No. 3 wastewater treatment plant at Bergen Point,” he said.
Funding for the Oakdale project comes from state water quality programs, and is not subject to any deadline.
In a press release, Sen. Monica Martinez said the project would help connect 400 homes that currently depend on antiquated septic systems. Construction is anticipated to begin, if residents vote for it, in 2020.
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