By Julianne Cuba
Following another devastating winter on Long Island, Brookhaven Town is receiving a little boost from the New York State Department of Transportation’s Extreme Winter Recovery fund for the year 2015-16, Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro (R) has announced.
The Highway Department will receive more than $501,000, while last year it received more than $400,000 in recovery funds in order to improve Brookhaven’s infrastructure. Prior to 2014, the town had not received any additional funding recovery funds for road damage.
“I want to thank the Long Island delegation for working with me on securing this desperately-needed funding for Brookhaven,” Losquadro said in a press release. “The past two winters have been historically harsh and wreaked havoc on town roadways. The more funding we receive, the more roads we can pave.”
In a phone interview, Losquadro said he is continuing to look for other sources of revenue from all levels of government in order to offset the cost to local taxpayers, whether in grants or funding from the federal government.
“There’s easily five times the amount of work that needs to be done that I have money for … maybe even six or seven times,” he said.
Within the next week — hopefully by April 15 — Losquadro said he hopes the resurfacing of the roads will start, weather permitting. Like last year, the work will likely continue right up until November, he said.
For the past two years, Losquadro said the town has been able to repair about 60 miles of roadway each year.
“I’m hoping to be able to match that, if not surpass that, this year,” he said. “If we’re able to get a little extra money from New York State like we did last year, every dollar we get is another roadway I can do.”
Losquadro said “it’s not dollar to dollar,” and if he can get assistance in paying for other projects that the Highway Department would have otherwise had to fund, then he could repurpose that money for roadway paving.
He referenced the traffic safety grant, which had been awarded for North Country Road in Miller Place, as an example of money that will now be free to allocate for repaving elsewhere in the town.
“That [grant] money will allow us to redo that section of roadway, a lot of the work we would have had to do there will now be covered by that grant,” he said. “That’s an award that’s already been awarded. We are seeking grants on all levels. We are looking for sources from revenue and assistance from everywhere we can.”
Losquadro said that advocating for additional funds for the resurfacing of roads is generally not normal, but there is just not enough money in the budget.
“While we were certainly not happy to see another severe winter, I am happy that we’re able to provide additional funding. State representatives listened to myself and other highway superintendents and were able to secure additional funding again this year,” he said.