There was a ground-breaking Thursday, April 16 for the pumping station for The Birches neighborhood in Locust Valley. It is a big issue that was finally settled after a decade of problem solving. Over the past several years the story always seemed to be on the verge of being resolved but it never was until the final hearings.

Much of the discussion was complicated by which municipality was responsible for what part of the problem and therefore the solution. Friends of the Bay made many forays into the problem seeking a solution. The area was cited when the Village of Bayville mapped the contaminants in Mill Neck Creek and the outfall pipe from The Birches was singled out as a remaining polluter.

Finally the town and the county came together and a solution was found to build a sewage treatment plant on an empty lot in The Birches area.

The two neighbors who would border the plant complained about the solution and were able to prove it brought on more problems of its own. That was about the time that Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi was negotiating to purchase the Glen Cove Sewer Plant and that appeared to be a better place to divert the sewage.

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto deserves credit for listening to the local residents, especially after everyone thought the solution had been found. Credit also goes to Dr. Alan Nelson who carried his message to the town and the county that the proposed sewage plant was not going to solve problems but was making its own.

The result was the current solution.

Friends of the Bay gets a great deal of credit for fighting the good fight all throughout the process -throughout the long process.

It is an example of why problems can take a long time to solve. Solutions carry problems of their own. It takes time to sort out what is the best action to take. Kudos to everyone for hanging in there until "The fat lady sings."

The best thing to say is there are processes set in government to test and question proposals as well as their willingness to listen to residents comments. Maybe the most important part of local government is the community comments at the end of each public hearing.

Here too, we must compliment Supervisor John Venditto. Long after we as a reporter have tired of a discussion at the end a long meeting, or a story we have reported on many times, Mr. Venditto continues to listen patiently. That is truly a virtue of this town supervisor. - DFK

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