Suffolk water quality on the ballot in Prop 5
Suffolk voters will have a chance to weigh in on an issue affecting the quality of Long Island's drinking water this November.
Proposition 5 would restore $30 million in environmental funds to the county's Drinking Water Protection Program and authorize the county to move forward with a $46 million sewer infrastructure fund.
In the past, county executives and the Legislature have dipped into the fund to help balance Suffolk budgets, but the "raids" depleted funds for the environment. A "yes" vote would also prevent future raids of the fund.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is urging voters to vote yes on Prop 5. "It helps move us forward in addressing the water quality crisis in our region," he says.
Meanwhile, Legislator John Kennedy is urging voters to reject the proposition. He says he's in favor of land and water preservation, but he believes Prop 5 involves too much borrowing for taxpayers.
"I call it voodoo economics," he says.
Kennedy says Prop 5 would be paid for with bonds and that taxpayers could owe a balloon payment at the end of 18 years.
"The cost consequences could go to $136 million as a result of this borrowing and that's just irresponsible," says Kennedy.
Bellone says the intention is to pay off the bond long before 18 years.
"We have a real water quality crisis in our region and we have to address it," he says.