Bellone delivers Suffolk State of the County address

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Wednesday delivered his State of the County address.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Wednesday delivered his State of the County address. (4/27/16)

SMITHTOWN - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Wednesday delivered his State of the County address.

In his first State of the County address since taking his second term in office, Bellone targeted a pair of issues he said are threatening the health of residents and the viability of the county in the future.

His No. 1 priority is ending the deterioration of Suffolk's water quality, he said. Bellone is calling for a referendum that would ask voters to consider a surcharge on water usage, which would be used to fund the creation of sewers and septic systems, ultimately decreasing nitrogen pollution in the county's surrounding waterways and aquifers below ground.

Bellone said the county's lawmakers must consider ways to keep young people on Long Island. As part of what he called an innovation zone, Bellone wants to transform Nicolls Road to include a rapid-transit system that could connect points extending from the North Shore down to Patchogue, as well as multiple links to the Long Island Rail Road.

The county executive also wants to expand the Ronkonkoma hub project, build a "train to plane" terminal allowing passengers to take the LIRR to and from MacArthur Airport and push the Yaphank train station back a mile to connect with Brookhaven National Lab.

In order for the water surcharge referendum to appear on the ballot this summer, the state and county legislatures would have to vote to make it happen.

Meanwhile, in the Republican response to Bellone's address, Legislator Ken McCaffrey charged Bellone with downplaying what he believes are two of the biggest issues the county is currently facing: high taxes and corruption.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in 1 AG Sessions visits LI to discuss gangs, protests planned
Officials say the algae cause a host of 2 Harmful algae found in Willow Pond in Village of Huntington
The county's Republican Executive Committee met to decide 3 Nassau GOP endorses Martins for exec
Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party 4 Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday
Newsday's Tom Beer gives News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen 5 Exciting new books to read

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE