Good Morning
Good Morning
Long IslandSuffolk

Brookhaven closer to receiving $20M state consolidation grant

Brookhaven Town Hall is pictured in an undated

Brookhaven Town Hall is pictured in an undated photo. Credit: Newsday / Bill Davis

Brookhaven is taking steps to obtain a $20 million state grant to consolidate municipal services in an effort to reduce property taxes.

Supervisor Edward P. Romaine has met with eight of the town’s nine village mayors to discuss ways to share services as part of the town’s bid to obtain the grant.

The meeting comes about a month after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo named Brookhaven and five upstate counties as finalists in the state’s Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.

The winner will be announced this summer.

“We discussed many different areas where consolidation can streamline departmental services and save money,” Romaine said in a statement.

Brookhaven plans to target savings through a combination of consolidation of special districts and shared services, he said.

One way to consolidate village services, Bellport Mayor Ray Fell said in a Wednesday interview, is to share equipment such as a vacuum truck used to clean storm drains.

Fell said Bellport and Patchogue can split the cost of the vehicle and schedule when to use it.

“I thought the meeting went very well. It was a great opportunity for everyone to be able to get some value from sharing services with the town and the villages,” Fell said.

Port Jefferson Mayor Margot J. Garant, who sent a representative to the meeting, recommended having Brookhaven replace the village’s streetlights with energy-saving LED lights.

“I’ve been a huge advocate for sharing services. It’s easier for us to purchase equipment through town or state contracts,” Garant said.

The only village mayor who was not represented was outgoing Mastic Beach Mayor Maura Spery. Mastic Beach has moved to unincorporate and rejoin Brookhaven Town by year’s end.

Romaine and the remaining village mayors are expected to meet again in April.

Brookhaven and the counties — Chautauqua, Montgomery, Otsego, Ulster and Madison — have each already been awarded a $50,000 state grant for their innovative consolidation efforts.

Romaine has said the $50,000 grant will be used to study consolidation proposals, such as turning over two town sewer districts to Suffolk County.

Brookhaven previously has shared services such as trash pickup and information technology with villages such as Mastic Beach, Bellport, Port Jefferson, Shoreham and Belle Terre.

Town officials also are studying consolidation of the town’s five water districts and also could combine the six erosion control districts that serve Fire Island.

Latest Long Island News