Senate Republican Conference Leader John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that legislation he sponsored (S.2859) giving the Town of Smithtown the ability to spend state funding he secured to construct a sewer system in downtown Kings Park has been signed into law. The legislation, which Senator Flanagan successfully fought for in the Senate in both 2018 and 2019, will enable the Town of Smithtown to utilize $20 million in State Funding that Senator Flanagan fought to have placed in the State Budget in 2017 for the Kings Park sewer system.
That $20 million in state funding is part of $40 million Senator Flanagan secured for sewers in the business districts of both Kings Park and Smithtown. This funding and the projects they support are critical to downtown revitalization, future economic growth, and essential for the removal of commercial septic tanks and cesspools that pose a significant threat to Long Island's groundwater.
While the Senate passed this legislation multiple times in 2018 and 2019, the legislation did not come up for a vote in the Assembly until late in the 2019 session. That delay forced the residents and business owners of Kings Park to wait an extra year for this critical infrastructure project to begin.
“While it is unfortunate that the Assembly leadership put politics before the economic and environmental well-being of our community, I am thrilled that this legislation has been signed into law so that the capital funding I secured can be utilized for the residents of Kings Park. It is great that reasonable heads finally prevailed this year and the Assembly finally did the right thing by passing this bill. This was - and is - all about doing what is right for the residents and businesses of Kings Park. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill into law, and I am grateful the project can now proceed,” stated Senator Flanagan.
The newly signed law, which was requested by the Town through a unanimously adopted resolution, will allow for the alienation of parkland to provide for the operation of a sewer pump. The pumping station would be built on 4,000 square feet of land at the Town of Smithtown Department of Parks, Buildings and Grounds located at 100 Route 25A in Kings Park.
One stipulation of the legislation is that the alienation shall only take place after the Town of Smithtown acquires new parkland or dedicates funding towards capital improvements to existing parkland or recreational facilities.
“Senator Flanagan has been an instrumental voice from the beginning of this important program and has always been a great champion for the people of Smithtown. From the $40 million in state funding for Smithtown and Kings Park wastewater infrastructure, $3.9 million to revitalize St. James and ensuring the passage of this important legislation, He has been Smithtown’s greatest advocate and we appreciate his work,” added Town of Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.
Each of these projects will allow local business districts to flourish, thereby creating jobs for residents and spurring economic development. During this year’s legislative session, area business leaders visited Albany to highlight the need for the acceleration of the sewer project.
The legislation took effect as soon as it was signed into law.