News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
3rd S.D.: Zeldin outlines restoring of slashed grants
State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) has announced restoration of $3 million-plus in local project funds sponsored by his predecessor, Democrat Brian Foley, but cut in 2010 by Democratic majority finance officials in their final days in power.
As reported in this space back in February 2011, the plug was pulled on much of the funding two months earlier by the Senate's so-called Office of Fiscal Integrity - leaving dozens of projects in doubt in Suffolk's 3rd Senate District and Nassau's 7th.
Some Democratic insiders privately acknowledged partisan payback, since those two districts had just been won by Republicans who ousted incumbent Democrats Brian Foley and Craig Johnson – both of whom condemned the funding cut.
Grants, such as those for infrastructure projects, have flowed from an intricate network of funding programs in state government.
Zeldin’s office last week supplied to Newsday documentation of the restorations. He said he’s still working on others. Zeldin said all the funds came not from new allocations but those previously in the pipeline. Such grants, he added, “shouldn’t be a source of gamesmanship” given people and programs “relied on this money and it’s important make them whole.” He called it a matter of government “fulfilling promises and commitments.”
Zeldin aide Marcus Povinelli tells us the grants back in the pipeline include:
-- $104,000 to the Adelante of Suffolk County, Inc. Cultural and Civic Center for building renovation at 10 Third Ave., Brentwood.
-- $2 million for landscaping, facaide and parking improvements in Brentwood’s commercial district, Heyward St. and Clark St.
-- $500,000 for the Timberline Spray Park
-- $100,000, for the East Islip Main Street restoration.
-- $400,000 for Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, for field digital mammography services
-- $100,000 for the Bayport Fire District’s handicapped chair lift system.
-- $150,000 to the Long Island Housing Partnership’s “community stabilization” program.