Supervisor Ed Romaine and his administration have set goals for 2021, including land preservation, waste management, renewable energy and maintaining a taxpayer-friendly budget.
Below is their compiled top 7:
1. Safety and good health
First on the agenda, councilman Mike Loguercio said, is keeping everyone in the town safe and in good health, then to make sure government works as effectively and efficiently as possible with no limit in services. Romaine was hopeful to utilize the town recreation and senior centers for vaccination distribution.
2. Keeping taxes low
Councilman Neil Foley doubled down on Loguercio’s sentiment, also adding a priority to keep taxes down.
“The town portion of the tax bill is by far the lowest percentage, but we work on a daily basis to monitor costs,” he said, adding that they hope to play a role in growing the local economy back by also working with all local chambers of commerce to grow and create jobs.
Romaine also noted a strong fiscal management that has resulted in years of AAA ratings by both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
“We are going to do whatever we have to do to keep the town going by watching every penny,” he added.
3. Continued land preservation
Romaine promised continued land preservation, emphasizing purchases along the Carmans River watershed and other open-space acquisitions as well as the expansion of oyster farms in the Great South Bay and Moriches Bay.
4. Renewable energy
Romaine also placed a large emphasis on renewable energy and working to ensure the success of the windfarm in Port Jefferson, with a cable from Smith Point. After the landfill is fully capped, he also noted the high possibility of solar at that location as a continuation of the energy park announced several years ago.
5. Waste management
The landfill, he promised, will close on or about 2024, when it is completely filled, after a slowdown in commercial material collection due to the pandemic.
“It would be a disservice to not use all the airspace paid by taxpayers,” he added, explaining a refocus on recycling.
He said there will be recycling education for residents as well as policies made for reducing non-recyclable packaging, and supporting a bigger and better bottle bill to make glass more recyclable.
6. A push for sewers
Disappointed by the slow pace of the Mastic-Shirley sewer project, he said he wants to see that project completed, as well as a new project for sewers on Montauk Highway in North Bellport with a possible extension to the Village of Bellport.
7. Lowering utility costs
Lastly, the administration promised to start the push for regulations on cable and internet providers to create oversight and better prices. Romaine said he would also like to see lower prices on natural gas and better energy rates in the future.