The cost to expand the Southwest Sewer District Service Area stunned residents and legislators last week during the third and final public meeting on the project’s review.
Representatives from the Suffolk County Department of Public Works said the most feasible and cost effective idea would be to work on funding a project to areas in most need, many of which have a low water table where backed up sewage from cesspools could contaminate the single groundwater aquifer for Long Island.
A single area of North Babylon, coded 108-2 by the SCDPW, would be considered the single top subarea to receive sewers in the near future. The cost to add the sewer system and clean up the groundwater however, would cost an additional $1,319 per year and an estimated $600 in maintenance fees on current cesspools for the average resident with a home value of $392,500 and 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.
According to representatives, the best-case scenario would be, a 30-year bond at 2 percent interest and 80 percent of the project's funding from federal, state or local sources. A previous meeting stated the cost for the project could range from $900 million to more than $2 billion.
While the cost is staggering, sewers provide a contained method of controlling, treating and recycling wastewater.
"If we don’t get the funding, we just don’t go forward," Legislator Lou D'Amaro (D–North Babylon), said. "Suffolk County won’t pay for it. Without 80 percent funding, I don’t see how this goes forward."
What do you think? Should Suffolk County go through with sewer expansion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.