After Two Decades of Planning, Mastic Voters Approve Sewer Construction

After years of advocacy stretching back almost two decades, sewers are finally approved in Mastic.

The Mastic referendum passed 414-71 to accept $191.3 million in federal and state grants that had been lobbied for and secured four years ago. The project will sewer residential parcels and businesses along the Forge River, including at the commercial corridor along Montauk Highway, and a sewage treatment plant at Brookhaven Calabro Airport.  The construction of the plant will be funded 100% through federal grants, and is scalable, allowing adjacent properties to connect to the facility in time. 

At the same time, creation of the new district will try and mitigate failures of conventional septic systems in the area that have been brought on by heavy rain and tidal flooding in the region.  Sewering of the area not only promotes resilience, but will help break down barriers towards proper economic development of the Mastics-Shirley area.

“This is a major victory for water quality in Suffolk County,” said Deputy Suffolk County Executive Peter Scully.

Sewers for the Forge River have been advocated by the communities of Mastic and Shirley and Vision for many years as part of the Montauk Highway Project and more recently the Tri-Community Hamlet Plan.

Congratulations are in order for Suffolk County Legislator Rudy Sunderman, Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico, and former Suffolk Legislator Kate Browning for pushing for this for many years, as well as all the community organizations that educated the community for a successful turnout.

“We are so happy the sewer referendum was a success. This will allow for economic development in our area as well as take care of our environment. This was a once in a life time opportunity and I am very excited over being part of this accomplishment. I’ve already asked to connect the business district of Mastic beach to phase 1 & 2 and have requested grant funding for phase 3 & 4. We are looking forward to the start of this project in 2020 and more to come in the future.” – Suffolk Legislator Rudy Sundermann

“No longer shall the lack of sewer capacity constrain land uses to banks, pharmacies and fast food. The potential for a vibrant mix of uses along the commercial corridor will become real once the County completes their work in the years to come.” – Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico.

“We are thrilled at the future for this community we now will have an environmentally healthy river and the economics of our business district are going to change drastically.  I would like to thank Vision Long Island for hanging in there with us since we started.” – Beth Wahl, President of the Mastic-Shirley Chamber of Commerce.

“The process to obtain funding was over a decade I the making partnering with multiple levels of government this is a crucial step in creating the quality of life that the tri-hamlet area deserves.  With a shovel-ready plan, hopefully additional funding will be made available in the future to continue the project.” – Former Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning

“The passage of the project will bolster resilience for the Mastic-Shirley area while providing needed economic benefits that have been desired for years.  This will enable the area to take steps forwards towards its revitalization.” – Jon Siebert, Vision Long Island

There are also many people who have been involved on this journey since the beginning, including Beth Wahl and the William Floyd Community Summit, former Councilman Ed Hennessey, the local chamber of commerce, Save the Forge River, the LI Lobby Coalition, and many others.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Deputy County Executive Peter Scully in particular also deserve credit for setting and carrying out the initiative.

Special thanks to Jon Siebert from the Vision team who worked side by side with the local community on this issue as well to help bring it home.

Vision Long Island was glad to see this initiative passed after years of effort by the local community in the face of those who said sewers would never get built.  This community is in need of this well-deserved investment for both environmental and economic reasons, and we applaud the outcome

You can read more here.