Written by Delia DeRiggi-Whitton Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
Spring is a time of renewal. It will be welcome this year after an historic blizzard, which followed a power outage that had most of sitting in freezing houses for weeks.
From my seat in the Legislature, there is renewal that needs to happen and I am concerned that the county executive’s administration here in Nassau is – once again – not taking the needs of our area seriously.
I don’t need to rehash the travesty that occurred under our county executive’s watch, under his staff’s orders. Glen Covers know the treasure that we have in our Nassau County preserve. And they know the truth about what happened. Since the devastation that went on there, with Nassau possibly misusing much-needed FEMA money in the aftermath of Long Island’s worst disaster, I have called for the company involved to repay Glen Covers by replanting trees and doing other restoration work at Welwyn.
The county executive and his majority in the Legislature have no interest in holding the company accountable. Could it be because of campaign contributions from that company?
At any rate, the administration first testified to me at a hearing that they weren’t allowed to replant trees with FEMA money. Then, amazingly, after I fought them, they realized they had a million dollars to replant trees with FEMA money. Now, after this same company / campaign contributor mowed down trees on Searingtown and Shelter Rock Road, there is something more like $3.5 million for replanting trees.
Imagine a scenario in which the county executive is using federal storm relief aid from FEMA to pay his campaign contributor to cut down trees that don’t need to come down, and then replanting the trees with more federal storm relief aid? One would find such a scenario hard to believe, but worth an investigation.
That said, I do want trees replanted at Welwyn. I don’t think that your county or your federal tax dollars should pay for it.
I have been meeting with Bayville and Mill Neck area residents and business owners for many months now. The county executive’s administration, and his majority in the Legislature, allowed West Shore Road to collapse as I repeatedly – month after month - asked them to begin repairs.
At this point, one major concern for that greater area, a concern that comes directly from business owners, is when they will fix the drawbridge. I am told it will be expensive but have not received solid information about getting this important project done. Spring is around the corner. If the bridge isn’t up and running, I am told that businesses will fail. Bayville has lost at least one business that I know of since Nassau let the road collapse. And I have met with several others who fear they will go out of business because there is now no traffic on their end of Bayille.
I haven’t forgotten. However, I do fear that they hope I did. My office put in several requests early last year to review adding the 75 homes in the Crescent Beach area to the Nassau County sewer system so that our harbor is not polluted by one or two bad septic systems, which no one has been able to trace for several years now. The Nassau County health department told me that the real solution to the issue is adding that community to the sewer system. How many more summers will they let begin and then end again with that beach remaining closed? I am submitting another request.