The Suffolk County Department of Public Works released more findings from its Southwest Sewer District Expansion Feasability Study, including the revelation the project could cost taxpayers over $2 billion without any grants or outside funding. The expansion of the sewer district would affect areas including West Islip, North Babylon, West Babylon, and Wyandanch.
The Tuesday evening meeting, the second this year focused on the study, found that the areas in most need, called "Tier 1" by officials, would account for nearly 53 percent of the overall estimated cost for the system expansion at an estimated $1.106 billion. The tier included mostly areas from North Babylon and Wyandanch, the costliest being an area bordering the two areas at an estimated $235 million.
For the entire area in question to be added to the Southwest Sewer District, the DPW would have to run pipes throughout the entire area able to support roughly 12 to 16 million gallons per day. Tier 1 alone would use up 5.9 to 7.9 million gallons a day out of that total. The Bergan Point Sewage Facility is currently being expanded in preparation for a potential district expansion.
Officials also released an estimated timetable if the project was given the go-ahead later this year. For areas in the top Tier 1, the entire process from legal processes to completion of construction would take until May 2021.
The scheduling for the project was drafted for the purpose of giving the crowd, roughly 100 concerned citizens, a visual representation for the project. Technical aspects, such as further research and investigation, mapping and planning would still take another five years, finishing up in late 2017. Legalities, including public hearings, would take place from 2016 to the end of 2017. Construction would finally begin for the Tier 1 areas in early 2018 and would wrap up at the earliest by around May 2021.
Officials also noted the $2 billion estimate was just that – an estimate without any additional outside funding. Noted funding could come from sources such as USEPA Grant, a State Revolving Fund, Downtown Revitalization Grant, Transit Oriented Development Grant, Privatized Sewer District Formation, Housing Redevelopment Grants or Industrial Redevelopment Grants.
The DPW will host another meeting in September with updated figures and findings and the entire study should be completed by late September/early October.
For more information from the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, visit the Southwest Suffolk Sewers website with detailed information, maps and more.