Coram, NY – Statement from Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro: I am incredibly honored to have been elected by my colleagues as President of the Suffolk County Highway Superintendents Association. This two-year term coincides with the start of my new four-year term of office as Superintendent of Highways for the Town of Brookhaven. The purpose of this organization is to promote the free exchange of ideas between members of our industry and, perhaps most importantly right now, advocate for state and federal infrastructure money on Long Island; specifically for Suffolk County.
We are at a pivotal point in New York State. Our road system is in desperate need of additional funding to bolster the local investments made by our municipalities. With our chronically-underfunded infrastructure, it is no coincidence that our state continues to lose population to other parts of the country. Brookhaven, Babylon, and many other towns across Long Island have significantly increased our local share of funding for road work; it is high time for the state to do the same.
While the Governor and State Legislature seem to announce major projects for New York City and other parts of the state every year, Suffolk County and other suburban parts of the State are left fighting each year just to maintain funding levels that are far too low.
Unfortunately, this year was no exception. In the Governor’s State of the State address, he announced $6 billion in capital funding for an expansion of Penn Station and another $300 million to “reimagine” the Erie Canal. While every project proposed holds benefits, where are the transformational projects for Long Island, for Suffolk County, for the Townships here fighting to keep pace with stagnated infrastructure funding? The latest press release from the Governor’s office references the nation-leading infrastructure investment they are proposing. This funding, state-wide, does not even equal resurfacing the total lane miles of road in the Town of Brookhaven.
We all know that high profile projects make for good headlines. A new bridge, a new train station, or a rebuilt airport all serve the needs of a large portion of the population, that much is obvious. What is lost in the glitz and glamour of those ventures is that the residents who use them still have to traverse woefully-underfunded local infrastructure to get to these new facilities.
The mechanism by which aid is distributed to municipalities by New York State is called the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). The base allocation stands at $483 million statewide and has not been adjusted (for inflation or otherwise) in many years. I am calling on the Governor and State Legislature to, at minimum, double this allocation to provide local departments of public works the funding we so desperately need to improve local roads. For years my colleagues and I have been advocating for exactly this. The time is now for our representatives to deliver for Long Island.
Daniel P. Losquadro * Highway Superintendent
1140 Old Town Road • Coram • NY 11727 • Phone (631) 451-9200 • Fax (631) 732-2584