Stop the political posturing and fix the Bay Park plant

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There is no question that repairs need to be done, and so County Executive Ed Mangano has proposed a $700 million bond to make the necessary fixes, almost all of which should be paid back by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On July 15, however, Democrats in the County Legislature approved only $262 million in bonding to make the repairs. This falls way short of the $700 million that’s needed.

In an op-ed piece in Newsday, Joye Brown rightfully pointed out that the stalemate in the Legislature is a result of the longstanding dispute between Mangano and Republican lawmakers on one side, and Democratic lawmakers on the other.

Bay Park needs to be fully repaired and modernized. It’s time to put up or shut up. Repairing the plant now, and not months from now, after Election Day, is a must. It’s not political football.

The Herald and Newsday weren’t the only Long Island news organizations to call on Nassau Democrats to vote on the bonding. Long Island Business News Columnist Martin Cantor wrote, “It’s one thing for the Democrats to serve as the loyal opposition to Republican County Executive Ed Mangano, who faces re-election this year, but it’s quite another to ignore the unintended consequences of their actions.”

Cantor is absolutely right. Sandy exposed the severe weaknesses of the plant. We now have the opportunity to make the necessary repairs and upgrades, and federal funding to cover much of the costs, but we can’t wait for the results of study after study.

Clearly, the plant has problems if sewage is still seeping into Reynolds Channel. You want dirty? Then look at the games the Democrats are playing in the County Legislature.

Stop the posturing! Let’s approve the full $700 million bond and get this plant fixed once and for all.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column?

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