Brookhaven supervisor Ed Romaine, Patchogue Village mayor Paul Pontieri and county legis. Rudy Sunderland are hoping the $26.4 million in funding turned down by Great River residents in the Jan. 22 sewer referendum will be directed to shovel-ready projects in their areas that will enhance economic opportunities and protect the Forge River and the Great South Bay.
Romaine sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo requesting the funding on Jan. 28.
While funding for Phases 1 and 2 were approved by voters in the Mastic-Shirley area, the $26.4 million would help complete already engineered Phase 3, specifically helping to restore the Forge River and reduce impacts to Narrow and Moriches bays, Romaine said.
Romaine jumped on the bandwagon with Cuomo because “both of our projects are shovel ready,” he emphasized. “Mastic and Mastic Beach has four phases and we figured with $26.4 million, we could use the money for Phase 3. Then I read Patchogue wanted the money. So I called up the mayor and said, ‘if you go in on this, we’ll split the funding, if we get it, 50/50, and the mayor agreed. I think two requests will strengthen our chances together.”
Romaine said besides Cuomo, other approvals would be needed, including from the DEC commissioner and county executive Steve Bellone.
As for Patchogue, Pontieri said the money would enable the village’s sewage treatment plant to increase from treating 800,000 gallons to 1.2 million gallons per day, increasing economic opportunities as well as providing cleaner water.
“The expansion would also allow us to sewer much more of the village and possibly could expand from 500 homes to an additional 200 to 250 homes,” Pontieri said. “The last thing is that the infrastructure on Main Street needs attention. The pipes from Hammond Street to Main Street go back to 1907. By working with the town and supervisor Romaine, there is the feeling that there is a little more opportunity to do that.”