February 25, 2014
Mayor Allan M. Dorman Blasts Suffolk County Water Authority for Sale of Parcel of Land in Islandia
Says Land Could Have Been Donated to the Village to Construct
New Homes for Returning Troops Overseas
Mayor Allan M. Dorman, Village of Islandia, says he is disappointed in the Suffolk County Water Authority’s decision to sell a tract of land to a developer rather than donate the land to the village, which would have used the property to build new houses for combat veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
On February 24, the SCWA announced it has sold 7.8 acres of land along the Long Island Expressway corridor in Islandia for $1.56 million to Exit 58 Islandia LLC, which is owned by Crane Neck Co. LLC. In addition, the authority granted the developer full-access easements for another 0.786 acre, totaling 8.6 acres.
“The Suffolk County Water Authority had the chance to take home the gold; instead they took the money,” Mayor Dorman said. “This land would have provided affordable single-family homes for our returning Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, most of them with disabilities. How sad is that? The one-party-controlled Executive Staff and Board Members of the SCWA showed their true colors, which are not red white and blue.”
On December 16, 2013, Mayor Dorman attended a SCWA meeting with approximately 50 Veterans and pleaded with the authority to transfer this property over to Long Island Home Builders Care (LIHBC), a nonprofit homebuilding organization, which would build 16 to 20 homes at cost. The veterans would then pay for the homes at a low rate.
“We were received with cold faces and no response from the board members and the executive staff,” said Mayor Dorman, a former Marine and a Vietnam War veteran. “We told every one of these appointees that they would never get a chance like this again to make such a difference in so many lives. With that said, still no response.”
Mayor Dorman asked that the SCWA donate the land but the authority said that it is not allowed by law to transfer the property. New York State Senator Lee Zeldin offered to present an amendment to the law that would have allowed the SCWA to transfer the property to the village, but the Suffolk County Water Authority refused.
The SCWA said the proceeds from the sale would prevent future rate hikes, although the authority held a public hearing on a proposed 4.2% rate hike effective April 1 on the same day the sale was announced.
“The Suffolk County Water Authority proudly praised itself for saving Suffolk County taxpayers $3.00 on their water bill,” Mayor Dorman said. “This appeared to be a major success story for them. I guess that certainly justifies paying the executive staff over $1.2 million a year in salaries. The CEO, Jeffrey Szabo, and its Chairman of the Board, James Gaughran, should be ashamed of themselves.”