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Nassau service consolidation plan to save $130 million

Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building in Mineola.

Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building in Mineola. (Dec. 27, 2015) Credit: Ian J. Stark

Nassau County will submit a plan to the state Friday to consolidate services among nearly 70 municipalities, potentially saving taxpayers $130 million.

Almost all the savings — $128 million in the first year — would come from converting the 70-year-old sewage treatment plant in Long Beach into a pump station that would transfer raw sewage under Reynolds Channel to the county’s Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant.

Nassau’s Shared Services panel, which includes County Executive Edward Mangano, town supervisors, village mayors and school leaders, approved the plan Wednesday by a vote of 43-0. The Village of Hempstead, which did not participate in the process, abstained.

“All municipalities in Nassau worked together under extreme time constraints to develop shared services which as a foundation can only expand and produce more savings in the future years,” Mangano said in a statement.

Legislation signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in May requires county and local officials statewide to devise plans to eliminate duplicative services, coordinate purchases and reduce back office costs to reduce property taxes.

Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said while the city’s treatment plant needs $178 million in repairs and upgrades, diverting wastewater to Bay Park would cost only $50 million, to be paid for with local funds and state grants.

Under the plan, the city would transfer up to 5 million gallons of sewage per day to Bay Park, limiting the amount of effluent flowing into the channel and reducing nitrogen and ammonia levels.

Schnirman, a Democrat running for county comptroller, said the plan “will eliminate all discharges into Reynolds Channel, finally cleaning up the bay for all the families of Long Beach, the town, and Nassau.”

Also under the shared services plan, Nassau will work with the GOP-controlled towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay to create a shared mobile app to alert officials of roadways in need of resurfacing and potholes requiring spot repair. The county estimates the plan could save $1.2 million.

Officials project $256,000 in savings by allowing Nassau to provide road paving services in Oyster Bay and $50,000 in savings by allowing nine villages to perform street sweeping on county roads in their villages.

The county estimates another $500,000 in potential savings by transferring police services in the Village of Bayville from the Nassau Police Department to the to the Village of Centre Island Police Department.

The state will review Nassau’s 53 projects and determine which would be eligible for one-time state matching funds. The state will not provide the funds until 2019 when the full savings are realized.

Suffolk’s Shared Services Panel have approved a plan that officials said will save $37 million over the next two years.

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