(HAUPPAUGE, NY, Oct. 3, 2014)—Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone discussed sewers, downtown development and other key topics in a meeting Thursday with leaders from communities in Smithtown.
“We are well aware of the fine education Suffolk students receive here,” the County Executive said. “We need to find ways to keep that investment in young people here by providing good services and housing that appeals to them. Meeting with education and business leaders gives us an opportunity to learn more about priorities and encourage a sharing of visions for the future.”
The County Executive shared his vision of how we continue to grow the Suffolk County economy and keep young people from migrating elsewhere. The Connect-Long Island plan is designed to provide ways to connect vibrant downtowns, allow for improved North-South transit connections and create opportunities for innovation companies to locate and grow in Suffolk County.
The group discussed the County Executive’s proposal to award the Smithtown Central Business District $200,000 as part of his “Jumpstart” program, a comprehensive economic development plan to encourage, foster and enhance the planning and development of regionally significant developments in and around Suffolk’s downtowns. Included in the proposal for Smithtown are funds for pedestrian calmings, curbside and roadwork, removal of obsolete curb cuts, placement of brick pavers, plantings and removal of hazards and obstacles. The goal is to tie the Smithtown railroad station to the central business district. The proposal will go before the Suffolk County Legislature on November 18.
County Executive Bellone also talked about water quality and the need for sewers to reduce the level of nitrogen, which is harming water sources, and damaging the vegetation protecting the shoreline from storms. Both Kings Park and Smithtown Chambers of Commerce have advocated for sewers within the communities.
Proposition 5 on the November ballot would authorize nearly $30 million to restore environmental funds in order to protect open space and support other clean water infrastructure projects including expanding sewers and installing improved onsite systems. The referendum will also allow the County to move forward with the $46 million Sewer Infrastructure Fund which is helping to advance critical projects to improve clean water infrastructure including combating red tide in Northport Harbor and reducing nitrogen pollution flowing into the Peconic Bay.