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Mar 8, 2018 4:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County Legislature Approves Westhampton Beach's Use Of Gabreski Sewage Treatment Plant

Francis S. Gabreski airport in Westhampton. ERIN MCKINLEY
Mar 13, 2018 4:12 PM

The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved an agreement allowing Westhampton Beach Village to use the sewage treatment plant at the county-owned Francis S. Gabreski airport as part of its future sewer system, bringing that plan one step closer to reality.

On Wednesday, the resolution was introduced at the request of County Executive Steve Bellone and County Legislator Bridget Fleming, and its passage cemented an agreement in the works between the village and the county. The village will get to use the existing sewage treatment plant sited at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, also an Air Force base, in exchange for expanding the plant to accommodate the 60 million gallons per day of effluent that it expects to produce.

The village had originally considered constructing its own independent sewage treatment plant, but Nick Bono, the project’s head engineer from H2M engineers + consultants in Melville, estimated that opting to expand Gabreski’s plant instead would save the village about $7.4 million in construction costs.

The work will expand the plant 50 percent from its current capacity of 100,000 to 150,000 gallons per day. It will entail installing wider pumps and valves, as well as the replacement of blowers that force oxygen into the water to expedite the breakdown of solid waste. According to Mr. Bono, that work would likely be completed in the next three years.

The expansion is expected to cost $2.6 million, part of the overall $16.75 million cost of the first of four phases of the sewer project, entailing sewering all of Main Street, as well as portions of Sunset and Library avenues and Mitchell Road. A pair of condominium developments—Harbor House and Westhampton Landings—also would be connected to sewers as part of the first phase of work, which is not expected to begin until December 2021, at the earliest.

The effluent will travel through more than 2.6 miles of 4-inch-wide pipe to the plant from a pair of pumping stations to be installed on Main Street and Glovers Lane.

The cost of the entire sewer project is still unknown. The second and third phases would extend the sewer district north from Main Street, though village officials have not yet established definitive boundaries for those areas. The fourth phase encourages village homeowners—who would not be directly connected to sewers—to voluntarily replace their antiquated cesspools with modern containment systems aided by available grant money.

Now, Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore says that Mr. Bono will work on the design report for the sewage treatment plant to be completed next month, which will allow the village to apply for grant money.

“[This is] one more step in the right direction,” wrote Ms. Moore in an email.

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> "also an Air Force base"

Not since the late 1960s. It's an Air National Guard base.




By Frank Wheeler (1805), Northampton on Mar 8, 18 6:55 PM
Why wouldn't the County Legislatures approve? We WHB taxpayers are paying for it. Phases 2, 3, and 4 are not economically feasible and H2M has publicly stated that. Consequently, those phases aren't getting approved. Anyway Phase 1 for $16.75 Mil is not being opposed by too many in the Village so the sewer system (which will decrease the pollution in all 3 WHB bays by 2%) continue to move forward.
By Bobt (39), WHB on Mar 8, 18 7:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
The completion of the proposed phase 1 sewering of Main Street and the properties south of Main Street to the canal will divert nearly 5,000 lbs of nitrogen away from Moniebogue Bay annually, reducing its total nitrogen load by 24%. The project will also result in a revitalization of Main Street by allowing for more restaurants, and the occupancy of apartments above the stores.
By Mayor Moore (8), Westhampton Beach on Mar 8, 18 8:15 PM
Mayor Moore. Let's please stick to the scientific report we WHB taxpayers paid for that's posted on the WHB Village website-Nitrogen Loading & Mitigation Report by Dr. Gobler. The report states in Table 13- Phase 1: The combined reduction in nitrogen load for ALL 3 Bays of WHB is 2%. Moniebogue Bay is a minuscule piece of the bays that surround our Village. Also note Figure 12 of report- the total nitrogen load from Main St waste is 10%. Please don't continue to cherry pick the report. State the ...more
By Bobt (39), WHB on Mar 8, 18 9:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
I would suggest the commenter go back and re-read the report. The Mayor is correct and Dr. Gobler states up front that following Phase 1, 5,000 lbs of N will be diverted from Moniebogue Bay, "reducing its total N load by 24%." More to the point, I prefer to applaud the Village for leading the charge in cleaning up our surface waters while encouraging a vibrant Main St for residents and visitors.

Thanks to the Village and their foresightedness, we are now "shovel ready" to receive grants ...more
By Patti Schaefer (11), Westhampton Beach on Mar 9, 18 7:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ms. Schaefer, you are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine, and I respect your opinion. I believe the WHB Mayor and Trustees should respect the taxpayers by putting the sewer system bond out to the taxpayers in a straight up referendum on the ballot in June. They are spending our money on a system that we can’t individually connect to yet in order to have a say with a vote we must force a referendum by submitting a petition.

My husband will further address the statistics later. ...more
By st (113), westhampton beach on Mar 10, 18 8:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Let's consider four additional points as well:

1) Let's say we get our year round populated Main Street. We then need more police officers (will crime go up?, safety be compromised?), traffic control, garbage removal, Main Street maintenance, beautifying/decorating, etc. There are additional and far reaching costs should our town miraculously become vibrant and populated 12 months of the year.

2) How about the simple fact that as a WHB resident and taxpayer I like that it's ...more
By st (113), westhampton beach on Mar 10, 18 9:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
Ms. Schaefer, I’m glad you have finally addressed the 800 lb gorilla in the room by your statement “elected officials wasting taxpayer dollars”. Like Mayor Moore you are cherry picking half sentences of the report and not addressing the final conclusions of the report. Please read the whole report. My opinion is a $16,750,000 sewer system that will have a net effect of a 2% reduction of nitrogen into the bays is a total waste of money.

Question- if you really are interested ...more
By Bobt (39), WHB on Mar 11, 18 9:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
The WHB Village Board is using a permissive referendum to fund this sewer system. That means we WHB taxpayers do not get to vote on this capital project unless we force a vote with a petition.

Timing is critical. Once the trustees pass a resolution to fund the $17 million project—and we don’t know when that will be—we have exactly 30 days to get approximately 300 signatures from registered WHB voters to force a vote.

If you are interested in getting involved ...more
By st (113), westhampton beach on Mar 22, 18 1:01 PM
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