Briella TomassettiJul 5, 2018, 2:17 pmAug 8, 2018, 5:31 pm

Officials, labor leaders in Suffolk demand funding for public works projects

GOP caucus called out for voting down multi-million dollar bond group says is needed for repairs, create jobs


AMITYVILLE — Senior citizens who live in the “County Line Villas” joined Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Thursday to demand funding for critical public works projects that would provide necessary infrastructure upgrades and make the community safer.

"Adding sidewalks, making every intersection here ADA complaint, that's really important. And that's the basic nuts-and-bolts of what the government’s supposed to be doing," executive Bellone said.

The project would also replace drainage, upgrade traffic signals and repair guardrails. But the Republican Caucus recently voted down a $28 million bond resolution that would make those improvements possible. The vote comes after the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved the project.

"There are no sidewalks, you take your life in your hands every time you walk out there because the cars just whiz by, and most of us are seniors. It's dangerous," said Amityville resident Pat Gennardo.

Labor leaders argue that the failure to fund these types of infrastructure projects could also mean the loss of union jobs.

"We need the legislature and all the elected officials to work together, stop playing the games. Inside baseball has no interest to the people that live here and want to work," said Long Island Contractors' Association Executive Director Marc Herbst.

FiOS1 News reached out to Republican Leg. Tom Cilmi, who said that the GOP minority has approved funding for 35 out of 42 capital projects when they were presented in individual bonds and not lumped altogether. He added, "The County Executive has the ability to provide us with an individual bond for whatever capital project he's talking about. The reality is that most infrastructure projects are supported by Republicans, and we will continue to support them."

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