Bellone Announces Capital Plan Including Smith Point Bridge Replacement

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Today, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone unveiled his proposed 2015-2017 Capital Budget & Program.  The budget supports critical needs with priority being given to public safety, economic development, road improvements and water quality.

The proposed 2015 Capital Budget is $410.3 million, with more than half of that amount ($207 million), representing sewer bonds to fund the replacement of the outfall pipe for the Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant.  While the funding is included in the plan, Suffolk County has applied for state and federal funding to for the outflow pipe, including FEMA Hazard Mitigation Funds, in order to relieve the burden on residents of the Southwest Sewer District. The County is confident that funding will be secured for this project which will strengthen this critical infrastructure.

In crafting the program, County Executive Bellone acknowledged the need to hold the line on costs, which is why the total amount of County serial bonds proposed in the 2015 Capital Budget is $31.9 million less than what was included in last year’s Adopted Capital Budget for 2015 serial bonds.

“Since taking office, we have worked together to address the structural imbalance that has existed for years and we have made great strides in trying to bring this County back to sound fiscal standing, however our infrastructure has taken a beating due to natural disasters and lean capital investment,” County Executive Bellone said.  “We cannot kick the can down the road any longer and now must make investments in prioritized critical infrastructure projects which will ensure the fiscal and economic future and vitality of Suffolk County.”

“While this capital budget continues to build upon the fiscal vigilance undertaken by my administration, it also makes prioritized investments in infrastructure, public safety, economic development and water quality which are critically needed,” County Executive Bellone added.

Projects budgeted for 2015 include:

Roads and Transportation

The proposed budget includes funds to repair, strengthen, and improve County roadways.  Some projects included:

$16.5 million for CR 16, Horseblock Rd/LIRR Tracks Bridge Replacement-Replace the current bridge and improve alignment on the approaches to the bridge

$7.5 million for CR 12 Oak Street/Hoffman Ave/Rail Road Ave-Full depth pavement patching, resurfacing, curb and sidewalk

$6 million for CR 7, Wicks Rd.-Corridor Study and Improvements

$4.5 million for CR 10, Elwood Rd.-Full-depth pavement rehabilitation, asphalt resurfacing, drainage upgrades and sidewalk repair

$3 million for planning for a replacement for the Smith Point Bridge which a recent engineering study determined is in a deteriorated state

Economic Development

Included as part of the proposed budget are initiatives which create sustainable and economic growth:

$25 million for Sewer Connection at the Ronkonkoma Hub, a major transportation oriented development project to develop 50 acres of land near the McArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma Train Station with a mix of residential, retail and office space.  The funding will support the construction of a sewer pumping station and installation of piping to connect the Hub to the Southwest Sewer District

$500,000 in planning funds for Start-Up NY project

$18.6 million-Suffolk Community College for the construction of a new Renewable Energy and STEM Center located on the College’s Grant Campus

$2.5 million for workforce housing infrastructure improvements

$2.5 million for Jumpstart Suffolk-funding to assist shovel ready economic development projects within Transit Oriented Developments

$500,000 for Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Program

 Public Safety

Great strides in public safety have been made with the use of innovative policing techniques and improved efficiencies resulting in crime reduction within the County.  The 2015 Capital Budget addresses critical public safety initiatives including:

$11.9 million-First phase of upgrading County Police radio communications system from an analog system to a digital IP based communications system.

$5 million-Purchase of new public safety vehicles

$2 million in planning funds for the Phase II jail construction which is currently required by the New State Committee on Corrections

Sewer Projects

Nitrogen from wastewater discharge has had negative effects on local water bodies, undermining our natural defenses.  Suffolk County is currently developing a comprehensive plan to expand sewering which will directly reduce nitrogen pollution. Projects included in the 2015 Capital Budget to support the improvement of Suffolk County water quality include:

$207 million- To fund the replacement of the outfall pipe for the Southwest Sewer District. The County has applied for state and federal funding to assist with the majority of the costs associated with the replacement, including NY Rising Funds, Hazard Mitigation Funding through FEMA and Storm Management Loan Program (which would provide 0% interest loans)

$17.25 million –Improvements to various Sewer Districts including:  Port Jefferson, Coventry Manor, Selden, Hauppauge, Windwatch, William Floyd Ridgehaven, and Southwest

“I thank the Legislature for their consideration of the proposed Capital Budget and Program which supports continued investment to improve the quality of life for Suffolk County residents,” County Executive Bellone said.

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April 14, 2014

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