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Long Beach to vote on $6.3M in bonds for sewer project

Long Beach City Hall on West Chester Street

Long Beach City Hall on West Chester Street is seen on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Credit: Newsday File

Long Beach City Council members announced a July 18 hearing to vote on $6.3 million in bonds for a sewer pumping station that could end the flow of waste into Reynolds Channel.

The city is planning an $18 million project to convert the city’s current wastewater treatment into a pumping station that would transfer raw sewage in an underground pipe under Reynolds Channel to Bay Park to be treated.

The treated effluent would not be pumped back into the bay, but rather through an aqueduct under Sunrise Highway to Cedar Creek in Wantagh and then into the Atlantic Ocean through a 3-mile pipe, which has yet to be constructed.

City council members Anthony Eramo, Chumi Diamond and Len Torres voted to pursue the bonds during a special city council meeting Friday, in order to meet the deadline for an $11 million state grant. The bonds would still need to be approved by four of the five council members at the next meeting.

The city’s corporation counsel, Rob Agostisi, said the city may not need to secure the bonds, but the resolution was required for a grant application. Long Beach could receive an additional $3.7 million in an inter-municipal agreement with Nassau County.

He said the treated sewage can properly be diluted in the ocean and it would reduce nitrogen and ammonia in Reynolds Channel.

The city has been negotiating with the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation and the Department of Environmental Conservation to receive the grant, but the city was required to pursue bonds as part of the state grant’s match.

“We said it makes little sense to bond for the project until we know we get the grant in the first place,” Agostisi said. “We’re putting it on the agenda as a technical and procedures measure only.”

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