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Suffolk County Expands Water Infrastructure, Small Business Programs In New Budget

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has included $125 million in funding to protect drinking water and fix old wastewater infrastructure in his proposed $3.9 billion budget for next year.

He also wants to allocate $35 million to help small businesses in their post-pandemic economic recovery. Both programs are funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This federal coronavirus relief padded Suffolk County’s budget surplus for 2022. It’s the opposite of Bellone’s proposal last year that slashed county services, including public safety.

This year, Bellone’s proposed spending plan freezes property taxes for residents. He also expects to rejuvenate the Suffolk County Police Academy with over 220 new officers and fund body cameras.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.