Babylon Town has secured $1 million in sewer infrastructure money from Suffolk County that will be used for a Wyandanch park.
The money is to be used to connect Geiger Lake Memorial Park in Wyandanch to the sewer system in downtown Wyandanch. The $15 million sewer line connecting Wyandanch to the Southwest Sewer District was installed last year as a vital part of the hamlet’s $500-million public-private Wyandanch Rising revitalization effort.
The town aims to finish most of a major overhaul of Geiger next year. The town began redeveloping the 23.4-acre parcel, which borders Deer Park, in 2011. A 14,400-square-foot spray park was created in 2013 in the previously rundown and underused park. The town is now building a playground and botanical garden.
The town originally entered into an agreement with the county for sewer infrastructure funding in 2012, agreeing to provide $250,000 in matching funds to the county for a grant total of $500,000. The funding came through the county’s Division of Water Quality Improvement’s Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program and Land Stewardship initiative. The town is paying for the matching funds from a $625,000 grant from the state’s Regional Economic Development Program.
However, according to Rich Groh, the town’s chief environmental analyst, changes to design and electrical components increased construction costs for the Geiger sewer line to about $1 million. The new $1 million sewer infrastructure money from the county will pay for the construction while the county’s original $250,000 will go toward engineering, which will be done by Sidney B. Bowne & Son LLP of Mineola. The town has contracted with Bancker Construction Corporation of Islandia for the construction.
The sewer line will run from Geiger down Grand Boulevard with a connection point at Deer Street. Work will begin in a few days, Groh said, and should be completed this year.
“This is not going to be anywhere near as big a project as the Wyandanch sewer, this will be a simple force main specific to that site,” Groh said.
Connecting to the sewer system is important, he said, due to the park’s high water table and a stream that connects to the Carlls River and the Great South Bay. Groh said by using the sewer line, the town believes it will reduce the nitrogen input to Carlls River by 700 pounds per year.
The town also received a $900,000 grant from the state’s Green Innovation Grant Program which it has used for natural stormwater runoff treatment and wetlands restoration in the park.