Sewage treatment plants
Long before Hurricane Sandy hit, there were big problems at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway. Many people believe that amid the talk of privatization, a lot of necessary maintenance was neglected. Adding injury to neglect, the plant was hit with a nine-foot storm surge, and millions of gallons of untreated sewage was discharged into the Western Bays.
Up to 90 percent of the cost of repairing the Bay Park plant, which treats 40 percent of the county’s waste — 65 million gallons per day — can be reimbursed by the federal government. Work that needs to be done includes replacing aging equipment, upgrading the electrical system and reducing odor. Work must also begin on a long outflow pipe to take treated sewage all the way to the ocean. This is a key infrastructure project that must be done, and soon.
The sewage treatment plant at Cedar Creek, in Wantagh, also can’t be neglected. Although it was not hit as hard by Sandy as Bay Park was, there are still upgrades that need to be made.
Mangano has made more progress than any of his predecessors in getting the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum redeveloped. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a plan approved in time to prevent the Islanders from leaving, but, finally, there is a plan, from a respected developer.
Work is still a few years away — the existing Coliseum can’t be touched until the Islanders move to Brooklyn in 2015. In the interim, Mangano, legislators and the developer, Forest City Ratner, should consider creating an even grander project that takes full advantage of the Town of Hempstead’s approved zoning for the area, which is known as the Hub.
The county’s social services and chemical dependency programs have taken a financial hit in recent years. While we understand that everyone must make sacrifices in tough economic times, these are essential agencies. When times get tough, people need more help from them, not less.