(Hauppauge, NY-April 17, 2012) Today, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone unveiled his proposed 2013-2015 Capital Budget & Program, which minimizes the impact on future debt service payments as well as aligns priorities and balances the capital program by prudent use of capital funds to promote economic development, job creation and infrastructure improvements. The proposed 2013 Capital Budget of $129.9 million represents a 21% decrease from the 2012 Adopted Capital Budget and the three year Capital Program 2013-2015 is lower than eight of the last nine Adopted Capital Programs. The 2012 adopted Capital Budget was $163.8 million.
“This Capital Budget is reflective of the fact that we need to live within our means while we make the necessary investments to grow our economy and make government more efficient,” County Executive Bellone said. “This is a leaner Capital Budget than we’ve seen in the past, but we are making critical investments in long-term economic growth, public safety and infrastructure.”
“We need to do more to create jobs in Suffolk County, which is why we are funding Jumpstart Suffolk to have the tools to make the necessary investments to support economic development,” County Executive Bellone added.
Budget Mitigation Measures
The County Executive has worked collaboratively with the Legislature to craft the first stage of the budget shortfall mitigation measures which will be implemented through the County’s Capital Budget and Program.
• Energy conservation & safety improvements at County facilities-$950,000
• Public safety vehicles-$2.5 million
• Purchase of hybrid electric vehicles-$1.15 million
• Clean Cities alternate fuel infrastructure and compressed natural gas vehicles-$1.15 million
• Construction of compressed natural gas fueling facilities-$2.5 million.
Economic Development is critical to the long term growth and sustainability of Suffolk County. Included as part of the Capital Budget and Program are initiatives which will invigorate our economy and provide long lasting benefits to Suffolk County residents. One particular program of highlight is Jumpstart Suffolk, which supports development projects that encourage job creation, mixed use housing, enhance public transportation and provide vibrant attractions.
• Economic Development Infrastructure Project-$2 million
• Jumpstart Suffolk-$5 million
• Rehabilitation management at Francis S. Gabreski Airport-$403,000
• Downtown Revitalization program-$250,000.
Suffolk County must be a good steward of the environment to ensure that our vital assets are protected and continue to serve as an attraction to visitors from across the region. Highlighted projects included in the 2013 Capital Program:
• Dredging of County waters-$7 million
• Beach erosion and coastline protection-$11.6 million
• Brownfields clean up-$2.83 million
• Construction and improvements of recharge basins-$1.97 million
• Sea Wall for Long Island Sound-$1.25 million
• Bulkhead replacement-$350,000
The public safety of Suffolk County residents is a core quality of life initiative and assists in promoting a thriving economy. The 2013 Capital Budget addresses critical public safety initiatives including:
• Renovations to Yaphank facility-$11 million
• Improvements to County correctional facility in Riverhead-$1.61 million
• Fire Rescue CAD system-$1.92 million
• Purchase of communication equipment and enhancements to 800 MHZ radio communications system-$150,000
Roadway Safety Maintenance and Construction
Maintenance, repair and improving Suffolk County’s roadways are vital to ensuring the safety of our residents as well as reduce the need for full reconstruction of roadways which is extremely costly. The 2013 Capital Budget funds the newly created Suffolk County Highway Rehabilitation Project which combines funding for over 20 new capital projects for County Right-of-Ways. Additional project highlights include:
• Strengthening and Improving County roads$4.3 million
• Rehabilitation of bridges and embankments-2.5 million
• Traffic signal improvements-$1.07 million
• Reconstruction of culverts-$575,000
• Reconstruction of road drainage systems$275,000
• County share of reconstruction of Nichols Rd (Brookhaven)-$2.9 million
• Reconstruction of CR 48-$1.4 million.
The County’s sewer infrastructure is an essential component of Suffolk County’s economic development agenda. Projects included in the 2013 Capital Budget:
• Improvements to various districts, including Selden, Medford, Stony Brook, Hauppauge, Birchwood and Medford-$7 million
• Sewer district safety and security program-$400,000
• Sewer facility maintenance equipment-$1 million.
Operational savings and service delivery efficiencies can be achieved through investments in technology. The 2013 Capital Budget supports investment in the following:
• Suffolk County disaster recovery initiative-$500,000
• Fiber cabling network and WAN technology upgrades-$600,000
• Environmental quality and GIS system-$900,000.
Facility Infrastructure Safety Improvement Projects
Suffolk County residents and employees frequent County owned buildings on a consistent basis and we need to ensure safe and secure access to our County facilities. The 2013 Capital Budget funds:
• Rehabilitation of parking lots, drives, and curbs-$1.75
• Installation of Fire, Security and Emergency Systems-$407,000
• Elevator controls and safety upgrading-$300,000.
“This proposed Capital Budget and Program underscores the need to prioritize critical capital projects and reduce the size of the capital program thereby reducing future debt repayment which is in the best interest of Suffolk County residents and the fiscal health of the County,” said County Executive Bellone. “I thank the Legislature for their consideration of the proposed Capital Budget and Program and look forward to their support in adopting the budget.”