State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. this week lauded the awarding of more than $10 million in state grant money to Suffolk County for its septic replacement program. The award is nearly 67 percent of the entire $15 million announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo for 31 counties across the state.
“This state commitment to Suffolk County demonstrates that our local foresight and cutting-edge commitment to water quality is being rewarded by the state. I thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to water quality,” Mr. Thiele said in a release. “This must be the first step to reverse decades of declining water quality trends. We must be committed to long term reliable funding to water quality if we are to conserve the one resource that is essential to both our environment and economy: clean water.”
Mr. Thiele said the grant reflected efforts on the East End and across Suffolk County to tackle water quality issues. He noted that he sponsored legislation, passed by voters in 2016, to extend the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund for 20 years and allow 20 percent of the money it collected from real estate sales to be earmarked for water-quality projects. Following passage of that referendum, both East Hampton and Southampton towns established water quality project plans, and Suffolk County devoted $2 million to septic replacement.
Mr. Thiele added he had proposed a $5 billion Water Quality Improvement Bond Act. Eventually, the state adopted a five-year $2.5 billion State Water Quality Infrastructure Improvement Program in the 2017 state budget.
Budget Season in North Haven
The North Haven Village Board will begin its annual budget review when it holds a work session at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, at Village Hall on Ferry Road. The board has scheduled a second budget work session for March 20, also at 4 p.m., with the budget hearing scheduled for April 3 at 5 p.m.
The village has yet to release a draft spending plan, but last year’s budget came in just slightly above $1.5 million.
State Will Undertake Route 24 Work
The New York State Department of Transportation is entering the design phase for 13 road projects on Long Island, including for portions of Route 24, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced this week. The work on Route 24, or Flanders Road, will extend from the Riverhead traffic circle east to Bellows Pond Road in Southampton Town. The project will install and upgrade sidewalk curb ramps to meet current standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the fall of 2019.