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Study of sewer expansion sought in Babylon, Islip
A Suffolk County legislator has secured funding to further study expanding the Southwest Sewer District into areas of Babylon and Islip towns.
Legis. Lou D’Amaro (D-North Babylon) announced last week that he had secured $2 million in the county’s 2014 to 2016 capital budget that will be used to finance a design report for six areas of Babylon and Islip. The areas — Wyandanch, Wheatley Heights, Deer Park, West Babylon, North Babylon and West Islip — were identified in a feasibility study conducted last year. The areas are considered the most critically in need of sewers due to depth of groundwater and development density, among other factors.
According to D’Amaro, the county’s Department of Public Works will now issue a request for proposals for an engineering report. The report is expected to detail the exact costs homeowners in the six areas would face if sewers were constructed. The report will also “make these areas essentially ‘shovel ready’ for construction while at the same time providing county officials with a clear game plan that we can utilize to secure the necessary sewer installation funding from outside sources,” D’Amaro said in a statement.
The feasibility study revealed that without additional funding, the cost to bring sewers to the six areas would be more than $2 billion and homeowners would be expected to pay tens of thousands of dollars annually. D’Amaro said last week that “although sewers are vital from both an environmental and economic development standpoint, expansion costs cannot be placed exclusively on the backs of our already overburdened homeowners and taxpayers.”
After the feasibility study came out last year, D’Amaro said it would be impossible to move forward with the project unless at least 80 percent of the costs were funded by outside sources.