Government: Zeldin Endorsed, Pedestrian Safety, Cupola Restored

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin
U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin.

Zeldin Announced First Round of Endorsements

According to the Zeldin for Congress campaign, the incumbent Republican Congressman has collected endorsements from 12 local unions in his re-election bid. Mr. Zeldin will seek a third term in the House of Representatives when he faces Democratic Party candidate Perry Gershon on November 6.

“We are proud to announce that 12 unions have now endorsed Congressman Lee Zeldin for re-election,” read a statement issued by the campaign. “These endorsements are a result of the Congressman’s successful work to help grow our economy, secure our country and bring home many important victories for hard working, blue collar Long Islanders.”

The Uniformed Firefighters Association, the Suffolk County Deputy Sheriffs P.B.A., the Suffolk County Correction Officers Association, the Smart Transportation Division of the Long Island Rail Road, the Transport Workers Union Local 252, the New York/New Jersey Conference of the Transport Workers Union, the Plumbers Local Union No. 200, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 138, the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters, the International Organization of Masters Mates & Pilots, the Boliermarkers Local Lodge Number 5, and the Laborers Union Local 1298, have all announced their endorsement of Mr. Zeldin.

Pedestrian Safety Gets $62 Million Boost

 Over $60 million has been earmarked as a part of the groundbreaking of the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, a multi-agency initiative to improve pedestrian safety across New York, including on Long Island. According to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Long Island will receive $7.5 million to enhance safety at more than 236 locations, including four crosswalks in North Haven and Sag Harbor villages, and 23 crosswalks at 19 locations in East Hampton and Southampton towns, as well as Huntington and the Village of Branch. Work should be completed, said Mr. Thiele, by next summer.

In addition to crosswalk funding, $12.78 million has been allocated for local roads on Long Island, including in Southampton, Riverhead, Brookhaven and Smithtown as a part of Suffolk County’s Pedestrian Signal Safety Improvement project. 

Southampton Town Hall Cupola Restored

Southampton Town officials announced this week that a renovation to the Southampton Town Hall cupola that began in May has been completed, fixing damage to the structure created by old age that was exacerbated during storm events over the last two years.

Southampton Town Hall was originally constructed as a school in the early 1900’s and the ornate cupola on the top of the building was constructed in wood and served as a ventilation source for the original coal heated building. In October 2017, engineers noticed the columns of the cupola were deteriorating and a recent storm caused damage to the flooring that sent rain water into the lower levels of Town Hall, including the Town Board room.

Using insurance funds, the renovation work cost approximately $150,000 and was completed by RENU Restoration and Contracting. Repairs included the installation of scaffolding and safety measures during construction, the replacement of a decorative portion of the cupola columns with a fiber reinforced polymer systems, the scraping and painting of the remainder of the cupola and repairing interior drainage components that malfunctioned during storm events.

 Highway Maintenance Funding Announced

A $2.6 million preventative maintenance project to enhance traffic safety and upgrade roadways on 54 miles of state highway on the East End was announced last week by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. According to a press release issued by Mr. Thiele’s office, roadwork on the South Fork included in this project includes State Route 27 from County Road 39 in Southampton to Stephen Hands Path in East Hampton and State Route 27 from State Route 114 to Etna Avenue in Montauk.

According to Mr. Thiele, the New York State Department of Transportation will clean debris from pavement cracks and seal them with a quick-setting, plastic-fiber-enriched hot liquid asphalt, which will help prevent road deterioration. These treatments are done within a few years of a road’s resurfacing to extend the new pavement’s life. The project is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2019.

Water Authority Earns AAA Rating

Fitch Ratings, Inc. and S&P Global Ratings have both assigned ratings of AAA to $100 million in Suffolk County Water Authority water system revenue bonds scheduled for competitive sale this week, according to a press release issued by the authority on Monday.

The ratings agencies both also affirmed AAA ratings on outstanding SCWA water system revenue bonds and declared SCWA’s rating outlook to be stable, with Fitch citing SCWA’s “very low water rates” and “ample, long-term water supply,” among other factors, and S&P noting SCWA’s “strong, comprehensive” financial management practices.

“It’s very gratifying when both major rating agencies affirm our high bond ratings while citing our low rates and our strong fiscal condition,” said SCWA Chairman James F. Gaughran. “Our high bond ratings help us to keep our water rates among the lowest in the country for comparably-sized public water suppliers. We’re very proud of our management team that ensures we always operate efficiently.”

SCWA is one of only approximately 75 of the nation’s more than 20,000 water suppliers to maintain AAA ratings from both Fitch and S&P.