EAST ROCKAWAY - Republican lawmakers from Nassau County toured the Bay Park Sewage Plant today to see for themselves the Sandy-damaged facility that's been caught in the middle of a fierce battle over how to pay for repairs.
As News 12 Long Island has reported, the plant went offline for two days after Superstorm Sandy sent as much as 12 feet of saltwater inside. It has been running on generators ever since. Staffers at the plant say some equipment is still offline, and other areas were heavily corroded by the floodwaters.
The plant's entire electrical system needs to be overhauled, and the temporary generators that have kept it running come with a price tag of nearly $1 million per month.
"It's now 10 months, that's $10 million," says Legislator Norma Gonzalves. "We need to do it and we need to do it all now."
But the much-needed repairs have been stalled by an ugly battle in the county Legislature. Republicans don't have the necessary support from their Democratic counterparts to borrow $722 million for the project.
The Democrats have authorized $262 million to start the project, but they say they won't support the additional funds without increased oversight on how the money will be spent.
For residents who are living near the broken down plant, it doesn't matter how the project is paid for. They only want the problems fixed.