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Nassau legislative report wants more workers at sewage plant

Nassau County should hire more workers to provide better maintenance and operations at the Cedar Creek Sewage Treatment Plant in Seaford, according to a legislative report.

The budget for the Department of Public Works has money for 100 employees, but there are only 81 on staff, according to a joint report Tuesday from the majority Republicans on the Committee on Publics Works and Parks and the Committee on Planning, Development and the Environment.

The 24-page report largely tracked the finding of a public hearing by the two committees last month that revealed that the state Labor Department had cited the plant for 26 safety violations.

The report was addressed to County Executive Edward Mangano, who has said the plant - one of two county-run plants that treat most of the sewage generated in the county - might need more workers.

"This office will review the findings and move swiftly to begin addressing the health and safety concerns that exist at Cedar Creek," Mangano said in a statement.

Cristina Brennan, spokeswoman for the Republican majority, said they thought conditions at the other plant, in Bay Park, were no better, but they had focused on Cedar Creek because, "a lot of constituents and a lot of employees were making complaints."

Legis. David Denenberg of Merrick, the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Planning, Development and the Environment, noted that much of the staffing shortfall was created by an early retirement program last year to reduce the county budget.

"We put money in the budget this year for 100 workers at Cedar Creek, and they [Republicans] voted against the budget. When they took over, they could have hired workers. Civil service lists don't expire with a change of administrations," Denenberg said.

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