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$10M Bond Wanted for Roadway Repairs

Smithtown elected officials to vote on 2012 Highway Road Program at Tuesday board meeting.

Smithtown's elected officials are being asked to vote on whether or not to borrow $10 million to fix the town's roads and sidewalks before they face another winter. 

Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen said he has asked the town board to approve a $10 million bond over the course of the next two years to catch up on more than 6,000 outstanding complaints. 

"I want to borrow that money to get our roads back up to some kind of good standing. We are losing ground, as our roads keep getting older," Jorgensen said. 

The highway superintendent said he has more than 6,000 oustanding complaints from Town of Smithtown residents regarding curb and sidewalk hazards, that he hasn't been given the budget to fix. 

Under his 2012 Highway Road Program, Jorgensen asks the town board to approve a $10M bond over a two-year period, borrowing $5 million for 2012 and $5 million for 2013. Doing so would nearly double the amount of roadways he could fix. 

"I could get 60 miles of road paved on top of the 60 [miles] I could get under my current budget. In two years, I would try to get 120 miles of roads paved," Jorgensen said. "With that money, I will be able to fix the 6,000 sidewalk complaints. 

The bond, if approved, would the average Smithtown homeowner an additional $1 a month in taxes, raising their taxes by approximately $12 a year for two years, according to Jorgensen.  

If it seems like an expensive proposition, the highway superintendent said the price of repairing the town's roadways, curb and sidewalks will keep increasing, as the cost of oil continues to spike. Jorgensen estimated that for 2012, it will cost approximately $180,000 to pave one-mile of roadway and make the necessary curb and sidewalk repairs. By 2013, he believes the same project may cost roughly $300,000. 

"They can pay us now, or pay us later to do it and pay a lot more money," Jorgensen said. "It's a no brainer to do the catch up work now." 

In effort to gain votes on the board, the highway superintendent has been taking any councilman willing to take the trip on a drive of local roadways, going along back roads. 

"There are dozens and dozens of roads that need to be fixed... Every road I put down is falling apart. Thank God the winter was mild," Jorgensen said. 

He said one area of Smithtown whose roadways are in particularly bad shape is the Pines section of Smithtown, those homeowners with a Smithtown address whose children attend Pines Elementary School under the Hauppauge School District. 

Commack residents at the Commack Community Association's March 29 meeting begged Jorgensen to make sure they got their fair share of paving, claiming potholes and sidewalks in many communities are becoming dangerous. 

Smithtown Town Board will vote on whether to move forward with the 20120 Highway Road Program and $10 million bond at their 2 p.m. Tuesday board meeting. 

If the program is approved, Jorgensen said a list of those roadways to be paved this upcoming spring and summer will be posted on the town's website. 

Argile April 02, 2012 at 11:10 PM
The problem with this huge project is they'll hire union which means they'll take their sweet ass time rebuilding and milking the bond money till it's all gone and the town goes into cost overruns. I say hire the Japanese. If anyone knows how to rebuild anything in a record amount of time it's them. Have you seen pics of the towns affected by the tsunami? They're all practically wiped clean and ready to be rebuilt!! Not only will they probably save the town a few million but they'll probably get the job done faster than the 9-11 memorial. Which by the way isn't even completed...
The Smithtown General April 02, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Do it now. The lawsuits from all the rolled ankles has got to be costing more than a buck a month.
Greg Martinez April 03, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Something not clear from this article is whether the Town Board can do this on its own, or whether they need final approval from the voters.
Greg Martinez April 03, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Also, what is the size of the current Highway Dept. Budget, and how does it compare to prior budgets?
George April 03, 2012 at 10:47 AM
I am not convinced that all these roads are in dire need of repavement. Certainly some are, for now work on those only. The last thing we need in these times is to spend more tax money for cosmetic reasons. By the way, so far you have done a good job Jorgensen. Keep it up and you will have my vote again, as long as you continue NOT to pander to party little big wigs!
Brian Strauss April 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM
It's about time that the people in charge of this town have the foresight to be proactive rather then reactive. $12 dollars a year, that's 3 less Latte's per household.
Bob R. April 03, 2012 at 05:59 PM
ABSOLUTELY chill out on some very little things for a total of $12 for the year. Do you see Brooksite dr. it has been and getting worse by the week. It is a disgrace to have someone you know come that way to your home. Between Cygetnet Dr south to Forrest Lane is just pitiful. AND it has been that way for way to long. It's just one big POT hole one after another. Spend the $$$$$ look at all the Auto repair bills you can save. ( Tires , wheels, shocks, front end alignment, ball joints etc.) HELP!!!
George April 03, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Someone is suggesting he is embarrassed to have people come to his house because the road is in poor condition. My goodness this embarrassement might cause him a heart attack, let's fix his road please.
Phil April 07, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Get out much George? The roads in our town ARE an embarrassment. We are expected to take care and pride in our homes. Why should we settle for less regarding our roads and sidewalks? They are safety hazards as well as eyesores. They have been in need of repair for years and it makes sense to address it before prices rise even more
knee jerk April 01, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Code M to CPEP: We have Angrytaxpayer on the gurney!

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