Jim Morgo spoke at LIMBA this morning, and as usual, he was full of information. Jim has taken the vision of the county executive, Steve Levy, and has been furthering the interests of more workforce housing. Jim, as most of you know was formerly the President of the Long Island Housing Partnership, so when charged by Mr. Levy to increase that segment of housing, it was a natural for Jim.
Jim Morgo’s title in Suffolk County government is Commissioner of Economic Development and Workforce Housing. Mr. Morgo and the county executive see economic development and workforce housing as being related in the sense that, if your aim is to aid business, then create housing for the people who will work in industry.
However the primary focus on promoting economic development remains. Among the concerns of the county is zoning. Zoning for higher density must be accomplished for the sake of cost and efficiency, but without sewers the density that is needed it cannot be achieved. There was considerable discussion about sewers, or more accurately, the lack there of. There seems to be no doubt that extensive sewer expansion is a must.
Mr. Morgo spent some time talking about the use of county owned land in Yaphank. The good news for that location is that sewers are available. There are 880 acres in total and 440 acres are vacant. Proposals are being sought for use of that land. Steve Levy would very much like to see some housing be part of it. Multiple housing with apartments with two bedrooms are a net tax gain for the area, according to Morgo. Therefore the effect on school taxes should be favorable. Presently there is a proposal to create a NASCAR facility, which could be an excellent generator of business and tourism, but they are being asked to put affordable housing in the mix, and so far the developer is not offering that.
Jim went on to speak about Empire Zones. One of those would be Gabreski Airport, but there are five others. Apparently the county under the stewardship of Jim Morgo, is creating a very ambitious agenda. He gave us enough information to trigger a very interesting Q&A period.
I want to thank again Jim Morgo, as well as the most interested audience anyone could hope for.
The Huntington Chamber is having a “roast ” of Alfonse D’Amato at the Huntington Hilton. LIMBA is a co-sponsor. I’m sure I’ll see some of you there. www.huntingtonchamber.com/
Next week we have the Democratic primary candidate for governor, Mark Green. The newspapers were given the wrong information, my apologies. This newsletter goes out to a large following, but please forward this to a friend to get the message out. More on this next week.