Great Neck water pollution district to handle sewer treatment

Great Neck is an incorporated village in the Great Neck is an incorporated village in the Town of North Hempstead in Nassau County, on the North Shore of Long Island. Its population is 9,989, according to the 2010 census. The larger Great Neck area includes Great Neck Estates and Great Neck Plaza. (Aug. 16, 2012) Photo Credit: Brittany Wait

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The Village of Great Neck is out of the sewer business.

The Great Neck Water Pollution Control District began treating all of Great Neck's sewage this month, capping a plan years in the making to consolidate the village's sewer system into the district.

"We're very excited that this has finally come to fruition," district superintendent Christopher Murphy said.

The village had operated its own sewage treatment plant since the 1930s, providing sanitary service for two-thirds of the village, the neighboring U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point and about 60 residences outside the village, Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said.

The village began exploring other options about 10 years ago, after the state ordered sewage treatment plants to cut the amount of nitrogen they released, or face heavy fines.

Kreitzman said the village considered upgrading its own facility or diverting the sewage to the Cedar Creek sewage treatment plant in Wantagh before deciding in 2008 to consolidate with the district.

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"For the residents, it makes a tremendous amount of sense," said Jerry Landsberg, chairman of the district's board of commissioners.

In 2010, the district began a $60 million upgrade to its facility to reduce its nitrogen output and increase its capacity for the additional 900,000 gallons of sewage a day from the village.

Both the village and the district said the move will save residents money.

In its 2013-2014 budget, the village imposed a one-time increase of 51.7 percent in its village sewer tax, totaling $683,800, to help pay for decommissioning and demolishing the village's sewage plant, Kreitzman said.

But going forward, Murphy said, "a resident in the village is going to see their taxes go down" as a result of the consolidation.

A house assessed at $540,000 paid about $603 in sewer taxes in the village's 2013-2014 budget, while in 2014, the district's tax bill for the same house will be $412, Murphy said.

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