The long-awaited project to expand the sewer system for downtown Kings Park will soon be getting started, thanks to $5.4 million from Suffolk County.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Deputy Suffolk County Executive Peter Scully and Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim were joined by other elected officials, and business and civic leaders in Kings Park Friday to announce the additional funding and cheer on Bellone as he signed the funding bill that had been passed by the Suffolk County Legislature. The money comes from the federal government via the American Rescue Plan Act.
The project, originally estimated to cost $20 million, which was provided by the state in 2014, has gotten more expensive, thanks to inflation and the increased cost of construction materials in the last few years.
The expansion of Sewer District #6, which will provide sewer service to downtown Kings Park, has seen myriad delays. But the construction on the project, designed by Melville-based H2M, is now expected to begin in late spring, according to Scully, and should be completed in about two years. Executives of the contracting firms that will be doing the work, including G&M Earth Moving, ALAC Contracting Corp. and L.E.B. Electric Ltd., attended the funding announcement and bill signing.
The new sewer service will enable the revitalization of Kings Park’s tired and outdated downtown, providing wastewater capacity for new businesses and redevelopment.
In 2016, the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce and Kings Park Civic Association came together, with assistance from Vision Long Island, to identify key issues that should be addressed in the development of a downtown revitalization plan and sewers were the lynchpin for that plan.
“It’s good to see this transformative project that’s been years in the making finally coming to fruition,” said Tony Tanzi, president of the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce. “It will transform our community and turn our downtown back to a place that people want to come to.”
Bellone called it a great day and touted the bi-partisan support for the project.
“This is something that matters not just for Kings Park, but for the region,” Bellone said. “The community really came together. By having that vision and having that consensus, we can work together and figure out the infrastructure.”
Wehrheim thanked Bellone and Scully, the county’s water czar, for their work in getting the project started.
“This has been a team effort from the beginning,” he said. “Without working together, things like this would never happen.”
Suffolk County Legis. Rob Trotta, who represents Kings Park, thanked the taxpayers, because he said they’re the ones footing the bill.
“The residents of Kings Park are finally going to get the sewer system that will greatly improve their downtown,” he said.