The Patchogue Village Board is hoping to tap into its $2 million sewer fund surplus to help fix up sidewalks and parks in the community.
The trustees unanimously voted in favor of a resolution introduced by Mayor Paul Pontieri at Monday’s board meeting — a home rule request to amend the portion of village code that mandates that sewer fund money be used only on sewer projects — and asked that 40 percent of the surplus, or $800,000, be made available for infrastructure improvements.
The sewer fund has a surplus because of “key money” paid to the village by large developments such as Copper Beech Village and Artspace Patchogue, Pontieri said after the vote.
“We charged them for the right to hook up to our sewer system,” he said. The village wants to now use the surplus to improve the infrastructure affected by the sewer system.
“My premise is that sewers by nature, because they create density and housing through industrial and commercial projects, they create stress on your infrastructure,” Pontieri said.
“So we need to be able to take some of this money to upgrade some of those things, whether it’s sidewalks or waterfront parks.”
Assembly members Dean Murray and Lee Zeldin will sponsor the resolution in the State Legislature in April. “Hopefully we’ll have the money by summer,” Pontieri said. Priorities for the money are improving parks, and building more sidewalks near village schools and parks, he said.
Picture: Downtown Patchogue