Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s first signed law seals a $680,000 cut in sewer connection fees for Canon USA, which is building its Americas headquarters in Melville.
Bellone signed the bill Monday in the presence of its sponsors, Legis. Lou D’Amaro (D-North Babylon) and Legis. Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon). The county legislature approved the measure Dec. 20.
“Canon represents the direction that we have to go in as a region,” Bellone said. “To have their headquarters for all of the Americas here in Suffolk County is critical for our growth.”
Canon, building outside of a designated sewer district, would have paid a $30 per gallon fee for its phase 1 construction, for a total of $1.36 million. Supporters argued that a reduction to $15 per gallon — the rate when Canon purchased the property — was a fair consideration for the 1,400 jobs the project will bring.
Legislative counsel George Nolan had warned lawmakers that the connection fee reduction could constitute a “gift,” but backers said the move was legal because Canon, in its contract, reserved the right to seek the reduction.
D’Amaro, the bill’s primary sponsor, said that Canon has also agreed to immediately pay its sewer connection fee, at $30 per gallon, for a possible phase 2 expansion, netting the county an additional $378,570.
“So Canon is now, even more than ever, committed to further expansion,” D’Amaro said.
Above: Construction site of Canon USA's Americas headquarters in Melville. (Sept. 22, 2010)