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Oyster Bay to use county workers for some road projects

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino helps shovel

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino helps shovel asphalt after announcing an agreement with Nassau County to pave town roads on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and other town officials Wednesday announced a new agreement with Nassau County to use county and town workers instead of private contractors for some town road paving projects.

The move will save town taxpayers 35 percent on each project that uses government workers instead of private-sector ones, officials said. Town spokeswoman Marta Kane said the savings estimate comes from comparing how much outside contractors charge for repaving jobs with how much the county will charge.

The agreement covers “solely roads that just need repaving,” Kane said. “There is a lot of specialized detail involved doing curbs and drainage and things like that. We’d still go with outside contractors for that type of work.”

Work will begin in mid-September on road projects in a number of communities, including Bethpage, Glen Head, Farmingdale, Hicksville, Jericho, Locust Valley, Plainview, Massapequa, Syosset and Woodbury.

“After years of neglect, we really need to rebuild and repair our roads throughout the town and all of our infrastructure throughout the Town of Oyster Bay,” Councilman Louis Imbroto said after a news conference Wednesday announcing the agreement. “This inter-municipal agreement will allow us to fix our roads in the most cost-effective way possible.”

The town has equipment for patching potholes and making other repairs, but not the type of large paving machine that the county owns, he said.

County Legislator Donald MacKenzie (R-Oyster Bay) said in a statement that “this county and town partnership to repave local roadways is a great opportunity to save taxpayers money and improve the quality of our neighborhoods.”

Marc Herman, the Democratic candidate for supervisor, said in a statement that “if appointed Supervisor Saladino wants to make sure we have the best roads, then he should appoint an independent inspector general to oversee all of the Town’s paving contracts, which would ensure that taxpayers are paying the least amount for the most effective services.”

Saladino last month promised to appoint an inspector general to oversee town contracts, but he has not provided details, including how independent the inspector would be.

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