Legislators and community leaders blasted Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy yesterday for removing $3 million in funding from the county’s proposed 2011-13 capital budget for a planned sewer district along Montauk Highway in the Mastic-Shirley area.

A group led by Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) bemoaned the loss of the funding, saying the potential for $900,000 in matching federal funds could be lost if the money isn’t earmarked in the capital budget. The money was in place last year.

All is not lost, however. Browning has support in the Suffolk County Legislature to have the money reinstated. Her real concern is that Levy will veto that move.

The legislature will vote on the capital budget at its general meeting on June 8.

A feasibility study has already been conducted on a sewer district for the area. Now, $1.7 million is needed for engineering and design work. Some of that money would come from the $3 million previously slated, with the matching funds likely with the help of the region’s congressional delegation.

But could this be a case of crossed signals?

Gil Anderson, commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, said he pulled the funds based on the belief that the money would be directed to the development of a dry sewer line, which the county opposed.

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But, contigent on talks about details with federal supporters such as U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, he said he would support a measure to set aside funds in order to secure federal monies.