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Smithtown Highway Chief Revives Call for $5M Bond

Glenn Jorgensen said extra funding would help highway department take care of deteriorating roadways.

Smithtown's Superintendent of Highways is renewing his call for $5 million in extra funding to catch up with roadway and sidewalks complaints this year. 

Glenn Jorgensen said while he is drafting out his 2013 road improvement program, he intends to ask Smithtown Town Board to seek a $5 million bond - half of his 2012 proposal - to tackle long-standing roadway issues and outstanding sidewalk complaints. 

"To fix every sidewalk complaint I have on file now to put us on the upswing instead of the downswing. With the money I get, I am losing ground," Jorgensen said. 

Last year, the highway superintendent brought his proposal for $10 million bond over the course of two years before Smithtown Town Board, seeking additional funding to catch up with 6,000 outstanding sidewalk complaints. His proposal didn't get the votes it needed to be approved. 

Jorgensen said he's revised his proposal to ask for $5 million through bond for this summer. The additional funding woudl allow him to pave 30 miles of highway in addition to the 20 miles provided for under the 2013 highway road program, in addition to fixing sidewalks. 

"We are working year by year. We have to work on getting the first $5M to see how it goes," the highway superintedent said. 

If his plan is approved, the average homeowner would see their tax bills go up by $1 a month in the first year, or $12 a year, according to Jorgensen. 

He hopes to bring his 2013 road improvement plan and bond proposal before the town board next month, but is worried he won't have the backing of the town board. 

"I need four yes votes on town board and right now I believe I have three of the five votes needed," Jorgensen said. 

The Highway Department would need to have the plan approved by time construction season starts, mid-April to May depending on the weather, to move forward. 

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