Opinion

In a bipartisan vote on Monday, Jan. 12 the Nassau County Legislature passed the 2009 Nassau County Capital Budget and the 2009 - 2012 Capital Improvement Plan. This is the earliest the Nassau County Capital Plan has been passed and I am proud to report it will provide over $159 million in 2009 for road and park improvement, infrastructure and major projects. This unprecedented early passage will allow construction and building trades workers to begin projects immediately, providing nearly 1,000 local jobs to Long Islanders during these trying economic times.

Capital budgeting is a very important planning tool for municipalities, allowing them to provide the necessary infrastructure to maintain or enhance future service levels. Through capital budgeting, municipalities can plan future operating budget expenditures, debt repayment and potential reserve funds in order to manage the financial position over a five to ten-year period. Capital budgets provide the basis for the implementation of official plans, master plans and strategic plans and also provide the financial mechanism to implement planning and fiscal policies.

The 2009 Capital Budget includes nearly $18 million in technological advancements including the ongoing replacement of the County's financial and time leave systems. Additionally, the Capital Budget includes $40 million for continued improvements to our roadway infrastructure, $19 million in public safety improvements separate from the Public Safety Center and over $21 million for upgrades to various County buildings.

Passage of the 2009 Capital Budget this early in the year will provide immediate jobs and relief to hard working families here in the County. For Nassau County to be sustainable into the next generation and beyond, we must attract young college graduates and businesses. A diverse choice of housing options, updated transportation and infrastructure and exciting downtown environments attracts new residents. In the next year we will all feel the pain this recent economic downturn has caused. By working across party lines and thinking outside of the box together we can pull through these tough times. If you or a loved one is in need please do not hesitate to contact my office at 571-6214.


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