Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman announced last week the county had committed more than $2 million to dredge the Shinnecock Canal to improve navigational safety. Mr. Schneiderman also announced the county had earmarked $1.5 million for the reconstruction of the Shinnecock Canal Tidal Locks. Aging hinges in the tidal gates are in need of replacement.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone released his $2.9 billion recommended proposed 2016 budget to the County Legislature on Friday, September 18, and the proposed budget includes $1 million more in revenue sharing with East End police departments. The total amount of county sales tax revenue being directed to East End police departments is now approximately $7 million this year.
The increase, which reflects a deal reached in 2014 by County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Mr. Bellone and other East End elected officials, allocated an additional $3 million from 2015-2017 for East End police departments that are outside of the Suffolk County Police district.
The proposed 2016 increase would be the second of those three increases. The $1 million increase represents a 13-percent increase overall. Southampton Town will see an additional $295,000, East Hampton will receive an additional $104,900 and Shelter Island Town will receive an increase of $17,100 for police services. The villages of Southampton, East Hampton, Quogue, Sag Harbor and Westhampton Beach will also see a 13-percent hike in county funding for 2016.
The percentage of sales tax allocated for non-county police has long been unfairly biased, with a disproportionate amount of sales tax going to western Suffolk police services, Mr. Schneiderman said in a release.
“County Executive Steve Bellone recognized the past unfairness of the sales tax distribution for police services,” he said. “He has shown leadership by addressing this inequity and by keeping his promise to the East End police departments.”