The second public meeting regarding the possible expansion of the Southwest Sewer District Service Area into the hamlets of Deer Park, North Babylon, West Babylon, Wyandanch and West Islip has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 31st at 7 p.m.
More than 70 residents and members of local civic associations attended the
The next meeting will be held in the Babylon Town Hall Annex Auditorium, located at 281 Phelps Lane in North Babylon.
“Our February meeting was very informative,” said Legislator D’Amaro. “The project consultants provided details on the status of study, and the members of the public who attended were able to ask questions and share their thoughts.”
During the February meeting, Project Manager Jeff Butler, from the engineering firm Gannett Fleming, gave a detailed presentation outlining the scope and objectives of the study, which will include information about how sewer installation would impact downtown revitalization, housing and economic development opportunities, and ground/surface water protection. The report will also map the locations of failing on-site septic systems and identify environmentally sensitive areas, both of which play pivotal roles in determining the priority communities for sewer hookups.
The study area is comprised of 9,461 acres, or about 15 square miles. It encompasses 18,098 parcels, 90% of which are residential, containing a population of approximately 100,000. The experts estimated that, should the project ultimately move forward, the Bergen Point facility will have to process an additional 12-15 million gallons of wastewater flow per day, assuming all parcels within the study area connect. Suffolk County Department of Public Works officials noted that Bergen Point is presently being expanded to a capacity of 40 million gallons so it will be able to accommodate the added wastewater flow associated with this project.
Butler explained that the consultants will be utilizing the most recent construction data and formulas to determine the costs for this project, which are based on several factors including: sewer piping depth/diameter, the amount of land acquisition required for construction and the cost projections associated with utilities. The final report will include an estimate of how much it will cost each homeowner in the study area to hookup. Should the project move forward, several funding options may be available to curtail these costs, such as Federal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants, State funds, downtown revitalization block grants and the possibility of a public/private financing partnership.
“Community input and support is vital to this entire project, and the July meeting will give residents another opportunity to ask questions and make comments prior to the publication of the final report,” D’Amaro said. He added that a third public hearing will be held when the final report is complete later this year.
Residents from the communities within the study area are encouraged to visit http://swsuffolksewers.org, a County website created specifically to relay the most current information about this project, for more information.