Patchogue Village explores huge expansion of its sewer treatment facility


Patchogue Village has approved spending $100,000 to look at the possibility of once again expanding its sewer treatment plant.

H2M Architects & Engineers has been commissioned to prepare a facility plan to see what it would take to expand the plant’s capacity from 800,000 gallons daily to 1.2 million.

“The $100,000 comes out of our sewer surplus,” said Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri said. “It does not come from taxpayer dollars; it’s not part of the general fund.” Sewer surplus money comes from ratepayers, out-of-district hookup fees and other revenue sources.

The South Street plant was last expanded in 2011, from 500,000 gallons per day, at a cost of $10.8 million. That work was also done by H2M, with money coming from federal, state and village sources.

Pontieri on Wednesday mentioned that in April, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that directs $2.5 million toward clean water initiatives across New York State. Of that, $255 million in grants will be made available for municipal sewer upgrades, according to the governor’s office.

“The only way you get that money is if you prepare yourself through planning to be able to apply for it,” Pontieri said. “You have to spend a buck to make a buck.”

Pontieri said the time to plan is now, considering only more development is expected, such as the new Blue Point Brewery on West Main Street.

The village is also hoping to attract a major hotel to the current site of the Brookhaven Memorial Hospital annex, also on West Main Street. The hospital will be moving its downtown operations to the former Foley Nursing Home in Yaphank.

In addition, $18 million in Suffolk County sewer money is on its way to Patchogue to sewer an estimated 600 homes in southern areas of the village.

Pontieri said all those new homes and commercial projects would bring the village “right on the bubble” of hitting that 800,000 gallons a day limit.

“When the plant was built in 2011, it was built with the ability to expand,” Pontieri said. “We very much made sure we could go another 400,000 [gallons]. We’re looking now, with new technology, to see whether we could push it out to 500,000. But the game is to get the funds.”

The executive director of the Patchogue Business Improvement District, Dennis Smith, called a sewer upgrade “the next natural and logical step to keep the progress of Patchogue going.”

Smith said the prudent thing is to start planning now, mentioning also that several new restaurants are also still in the works for Patchogue Village. According to GreaterPatchogue reports, those include the Big Easy, Local Burger Co., The Cuban Restaurant, Artisan Kaiser and Buttermilks.

Pontieri said the expansion would also allow the village to continue with more sewer hookups to out-of-district areas, such as farther east into the long-struggling East Patchogue corridor.

“But we have to get that additional 400,000 gallons first,” he said.

Top: The village sewer plant as it appeared Friday, May 26, in Patchogue. (Michael White)

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