If reelected this November, Suffolk County Legis. Rob Calarco, now serving as the Democratic majority presiding officer, will serve his last term as a legislator. Currently, he is in year 10 of …
If reelected this November, Suffolk County Legis. Rob Calarco, now serving as the Democratic majority presiding officer, will serve his last term as a legislator. Currently, he is in year 10 of his service and plans to commit to another two before being term limited.
“As a legislator, there are certainly some projects in the district I would like to see completed,” he said, looking ahead to such plans including the com- pletion of the sewers in south Patchogue and the park at the former Blue Point Laundry site on Park Street.
“I have been really blessed to have the opportunity to work in Suffolk and serve the residents of the 7th District,” he added. “It’s something I am hoping to continue in the future.”
“Rob Calarco has a great future ahead because of just how special a public ser- vant he has been,” said Suffolk County Democratic Committee chairman Rich Schaffer. “He has that mix of smarts, compassion, strong work ethic and dedi- cation to his constituents that make him viable for many future positions.”
As for his future in politics, though he is focused only on his next term, he said he doesn’t plan to go anywhere.
“I have to talk with my family and see what works best for us,” he said. “I truly love the ability to serve the community.”
SOUTH PATCHOGUE SEWERS
The project was put on hold after BIDs came in higher, creating a shortfall in funding for the project as a whole, including the Mastic/Shirley sewer proj- ect and two others.
“There was a significant funding shortage. We are trying to identify money to fill [the gap],” he said, eyeing pro- posed American Rescue Plan money as well as another potential federal infra- structure bill. “We are going to figure that out and are committed to getting the project done.”
With BIDs currently in place com- mitted to holding the price through the summer, he said, he hopes to see the project break ground soon. About 500 homes and a number of commercial properties are awaiting hookup.
ROE PARK IN BLUE POINT
The Blue Point Laundry property in Blue Point, Calarco hoped, will be break- ing ground this summer. An intermu- nicipal agreement with the Town of Brookhaven has been approved. The town, he said, will take ownership of theland and maintain the property.
The total cost of converting the area into a park will be about $1.3 million; the county has committed $1.1 million and an additional $500,000 in grant fund- ing was secured by former Sen. Monica Martinez.
The park will feature a mixed use, with opening the creek with some nat- ural wetland vegetation and then some activities on the western portion, includ- ing a playground, basketball courts and a walking trail.
“There are alot of young families in that neighborhood that don’t currently have a park that they can easily walk to,” he said. “This will be a great use for them.”
THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTY
Calarco said there is an interesting dynamic happening in Suffolk County as a result of the pandemic, where people are coming back and purchasing homes.
“We have really benefited from this reverse migration that has happen over the last year,” he said. “People are mov- ing to Suffolk County in numbers I have never seen in my time in government.”
As a result, he said, he hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to rede- fine the local economy and revitalize the communities.
“We need to focus on how to continue to invest in our downtowns and provide for the right development,” he said, hoping to decrease taxes for residents and create opportunities for business growth.