Bellone authorizes village's plan to link to county sewer facility

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Bellone authorizes Westhampton Beach sewer plan Bellone authorizes Westhampton Beach sewer plan
WESTHAMPTON BEACH -

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed a bill Sunday authorizing the Village of Westhampton Beach to connect to the county-owned sewer facility at Gabreski Airport.

"This is another effort that will improve water quality while improving smart economic growth," Bellone says.

Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore says hooking up with the county's sewer facility will improve water quality in the local bays by reducing nitrogen.

MORE ON THIS STORY: Read more at Newsday.com

But it comes a big price tag. The project will cost close to $17 million, and the village is applying for $7 million in grants. The rest could fall on taxpayers.

"Unfortunately we don't have the exact number right now," says Village Trustee Brian Tymann. "Preliminary numbers after grants will be very minimal to taxpayer depending on home value, talking $20, $30, $40 a year, in that ballpark."

Some fear that connecting the sewer district may open up more development downtown, but village officials say that their zoning is very tight and has strict limitations.

Business owners say they're still unsure how it will affect their businesses in the village's downtown area. But they're hoping the move will allow for apartments to be built above their existing stores that currently can't be occupied without a sewer hook-up.

According to Newsday, the plan is subject to approval by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

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