N Hempstead OK's Sewer Hook-ups: "Miracle on Plandome Road"
By Mark Demetropoulos
The Town Board of North Hempstead voted unanimously - finally, at its April meeting - for a proposal by Supervisor Jennifer DeSena (R-Manhasset) to allocate $3.1 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act ("ARPA") funds to connect the Manhassset business district to the long-stalled Manhasset sewer project.
DeSena had lobbied the seven-member Board on the allocation of federal monies for much-needed project.
Town Democrats had previously delayed the project by challenging the legality of using federal funds toward revamping the town sewer system. Those "legal" challenges proved to be nonsense, as the funding was approved.
Town Democrats had blocked the sewer project in March, when the Board split by a 3-3 vote.
“Our businesses, our residents, our environment, and the future of our Plandome Road Business district deserve this project,” stated DeSena in March. "It’s incredibly sad to see all of these things sacrificed by the majority to bolster their own political power, as they’re presumably looking to dole out these federal funds to their own pet projects.”
“The approval of these ARPA funds has gone on long enough,” noted Mayor Barbara Donno of Plandome Manor. With the approval vote in April, the project will go forward. Of that $3.1 Million figure, $1.76 Million will be allocated to connect 88 properties to the system, at a cost of approximately $20,000 per connection. It also, includes $1 million for the town facilities to connect to the sewer line.
In addition, $334,000 will be used for other miscellaneous expenses related to the project.
North Hempstead received funds from ARPA Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for Non-Entitlement Units (NEUs) of local government in New York State. These funds were received in two installments in 2021 and 2022 totaling $10,114,021.27.
The new system will reduce the costs to local businesses and restaurants on Plandome Road, as currently those owners’ are paying as much as $50,000 to $70,000 annually to pump and maintain their septic tanks. A few businesses owners have paid as much as $500,000 annually to maintain the old sewer system.
"It is 'the miracle on Plandome Road,'” stated Lynn King, a local resident of Manhasset.