Legislator Kate Browning
April 13, 2012 @ 12:00 am EDT
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Our speaker today was Kate Browning, a member of the Suffolk County legislature. Ms Browning was born in Ireland when peace was a distant hope. She left Ireland to go to Germany where she met her husband, an American military officer. Subsequently she came to the US and became a citizen.
As a legislator her area includes Yaphank and Gordon Heights. In her efforts to bolster business in those areas, she became aware that economic opportunities were being stymied by the lack of essential infrastructure. An important part of that infrastructure is sewers. Without sewers an application for building a Starbucks was rejected, as was an Applebee’s. This began a discussion in the room focused on how sewers could be funded. Going to the feds may be like Waiting for Godot. The federal and state governments don’t have the money. This was all very strange to the legislator because in Belfast, where she lived as a child every neighborhood had sewers.
A suggestion from Harry Davitian was that interest rates are so low it is almost like free money. Of course that presents another problem and that is debt is already quite high.
Bob Bender deals in environmentally friendly bio products that can increase the capacity of present sewer plants. Another observation was that regardless of whether we have the money to actually build sewers the planning and engineering should be done anyway. They could be built when the funds do become available.
There is a large development project being pursued by Rose- Bresiln. They have stated that can pay for any sewering that is needed for their development. That’s helpful but it is only a small part of the answer.
The Q&A became more of a brainstorming session than a traditional Q&A.
The speaker was quite impressed with the level of discussions in the room.
Congratulations to Frank Boulton co-owner of the Long Island Ducks. He is being honored this week as an outstanding citizen for his achievements by his alma Mata Villanova. Frank is a great friend of LIMBA and of Long Island. His Long Island Ducks are a masterstroke of community building. His work with the Boulton Theatre and the Bay Shore YMCA are further tributes to his love of community.