SEA CLIFF - Nassau business owners say they are paying the price for a borrowing standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the county Legislature.
The county began work three years ago to connect Sea Cliff businesses to the county sewage treatment plant. Daniel Roth and Ray Capone, who own the Still Partners Restaurant on Sea Cliff Avenue, say they've had to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade their existing septic system because the county project remains unfinished.
The owners say their sewage problem became so severe that they'd have to leave their busy bar and dash outside, down the block and around the corner to check on their septic tank. They say they then had to waste their time pumping out 7,000 gallons of sewage.
Nassau Democratic Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams says the issue stems from a larger problem in the county. Democrats in the Legislature are pushing for an independent inspector general to oversee all contracts awarded by the county, but Abrahams says that Republicans won't budge. Democrats are taking a stand by shutting down funding for many county projects.
"If we vote for the bonding, we enable the first step to give them the financial resources to be able to fund their contracts, which are not being reviewed by an independent resource in this county," Abrahams says.
But while the standoff continues, the restaurant owners say average people are continuing to deal with the consequences.
"We're trying to survive and make this place work, and it would really help us if they just got along," says Roth.
Nassau Republican lawmakers did not respond to News 12's request for comment.