The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously passed a bill December 2 to ensure that federal and state reimbursements for drinking water protection go right back into water protection funds.
Suffolk County Legislator and Deputy Presiding Officer Jay Schneiderman, of Montauk, introduced the bill after learning that reimbursements were being deposited in the county’s general fund, rather than designated for drinking water protection.
If County Executive Steve Bellone signs the legislation as expected, money that comes back to the county from the state and federal government will be returned to the Drinking Water Protection Program Fund.
According to Schneiderman’s office, a portion of the fund has historically been used to pay the salaries of employees doing water quality related work within the county. Some of the salaries are in part reimburseable.
Ensuring the reimbursements go back to the fund will increase the balance up to $300,000 per year, the office stated.
“This is a significant amount of money,” Schneiderman said. “This additional money could be used to fund additional water quality projects to improve the integrity of our water supply for years to come.”