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Officials explore alternate routes to sewer pipe from Ronkonkoma Hub

Islandia Village Hall, 1100 Old Nichols Rd., is

Islandia Village Hall, 1100 Old Nichols Rd., is home to the village mayor's office, code enforcement, the building and highway departments and the fire marshal. (April 9, 2013) Credit: Brittany Wait

Islip and Suffolk officials said Friday they are exploring three alternate routes to connect a sewer pipe from the planned $475 million Ronkonkoma hub project to the Southwest Sewer District to avoid going through the Village of Islandia.

Officials at a news conference said the alternatives would more than double the current estimated project cost of $24 million to between $50 million and $55 million.

But they said the routes also could boost economic development by increasing sewage capacity for industrial properties along Veterans Memorial Highway, and help protect the Great South Bay by bringing sewers to low-lying areas in Sayville and Oakdale that now rely on cesspools.

Islip Town Board member Trish Bergin Weichbrodt, a Republican, said a "brainstorming" session Friday included state Sens. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) and Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore), an aide to Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), county public works officials, town planners and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's chief deputy, Jon Schneider. "Every level of government is taking this very seriously," she said.

However, none of the officials could detail how the project might be financed.

While three options are under consideration, Bergin Weichbrodt said the "general consensus" is the best route would run from the hub along Smithtown Avenue to Lakeland Avenue and south 5.4 miles to Main Street, Sayville.

Another route would go 2.7 miles south on Johnson Avenue, while the third would go 5.1 miles down Lincoln Avenue. Both also would terminate on Main Street.

From there, another sewage pipe would go 6.8 miles west through downtown Sayville and Oakdale along Montauk Highway, down Vanderbilt Boulevard and across the Connetquot River to the Great River, where it would connect with the Southwest Sewer District.

The county in 2012 included a $21 million sewer plant on the site of the hub project, where 1,450 apartments and 545,000 square feet of retail and office space are planned.

Early last year, the county decided instead to connect the hub to the Southwest Sewer District, saying it would save between $2 million and $3 million and reduce construction time by six months. But Islandia officials in January protested the proposed county route through the village as disruptive to residents.

Islandia Mayor Allan Dorman said the new proposal "was what we wanted from the beginning. We don't want them coming through the village."

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