MERRICK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some homeowners on Long Island say they are sick of taxpayer dollars being spent to fix their roads, twice, and blame utilities for a lack of communication and coordination with their towns and counties.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, new legislation aims to help.READ MORE: COVID-19: Experts Say Delta Variant Spreads Quickly And Is Dominant Strain In Under-Vaccinated Areas
Outdoor study at Chatterton Elementary School is nearly impossible, as Merrick Avenue continues to be dug up by utilities repairing and upgrading their grids at all hours of the day and night.
“Banging away next to the foundations,” homeowner Richard Morillo said.
Morillo lives across the street from the school, where new gas meters are being installed.
“I wish that by now they would have the intelligence and the respect for the neighbors to let us know at least what is going on,” Morillo said.
Angry homeowners call it a boondoggle. In Roslyn, mere weeks after an entire road was newly resurfaced utilities came in and cut huge holes to install new electric, water, and sewer.
“What our Protect Our Roads bill is going to do is finally make utilities accountable,” said Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads, a Republican.READ MORE: Video Simulation Shows What Empire Wind Project, Off Long Island And N.J., Will Look Like From Shore
In 2020-2021, the county spent $80 million road resurfacing. Many of those millions, lawmakers claim, went to repair sloppy conditions left by utilities. Now, those utilities, not taxpayers, would be liable.
Merrick small business owner Sharon Davis said road patchwork is abysmal, a turnoff to shoppers, and can be costly.
“It limits the traffic, especially for the storefronts, because people don’t want to come down Merrick. I just actually had a flat tire the other day — $315,” Davis said.
“Obviously, an untenable situation. They say they are doing the best they can,” Morillo added.
CBS2 reached out to multiple utilities and all of them said they strive for communication and coordination and apologize for any inconvenience.
“It has been a nightmare. I hope to God it ends soon,” Morillo said.MORE NEWS: Long Island Man Finds 8-Foot-Long Boa Constrictor In Driveway
The legislation, which will be voted on next week, would allow the county to bill the utility — not taxpayers — should the commissioner of Public Works deem repairs unsatisfactory.