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Dec 19, 2017 5:03 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

South Fork Projects Get $5.5M In State Grants

Westhampton Beach waterfront. KATE RIGA
Dec 19, 2017 5:39 PM

Christmas came early on the South Fork, as various projects and initiatives were awarded a total of nearly $5.5 million in state funding last week.

The Economic Development Grants announced by State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.’s office have been doled out to nine groups to help finance 11 projects and initiatives, ranging from $26,000 to $2.3 million each.

The Village of Westhampton Beach received two grants: $30,000 that will go toward its proposed sewer district, and another $56,250 for local waterfront revitalization efforts.

According to Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore, the $30,000 earmarked for the sewers is a 50 percent matching grant that will offset the $60,000 cost of a required map and plan—documents drawn up by H2M Architects + Engineers in Melville, the firm overseeing the village project, the first phase of which is expected to run $16.75 million.

The $56,250 is a 75 percent matching grant, which will allow the village to prepare a local waterfront revitalization plan, the total cost of which Ms. Moore expects to be around $75,000. Now that it has obtained the grant, the village will hire a consultant to prepare the document that, when completed, will “address a full range of coastal issues affecting the village, including but not limited to natural resource protection, open space preservation, watershed management, flooding and erosion management and capital projects,” Ms. Moore wrote in an email.

A $250,000 grant was awarded to Manna Fish Farms Inc., East Quogue real estate agent Donna Lanzetta’s aquaculture brainchild that could eventually become the first ocean-based fish farm on the East End. According to Ms. Lanzetta, this is a 20 percent matching grant to help her buy cages, or “Aquapods,” where the fish will live underneath a feeding buoy that she procured earlier this year.

So far, she has purchased one Aquapod for $250,000 last summer and intends to buy 11 more to complete the farm.

“The project is going great and has so much international support,” said Ms. Lanzetta, noting that she just returned from the World Ocean Council’s Sustainable Ocean Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, brimming with new ideas, such as possibly adding an underwater drone or a wind turbine to her future operation.

As of now, Ms. Lanzetta is still waiting on permits to anchor her farm offshore and working on her land operations in the meantime.

Back on land, the Peconic Land Trust based in Southampton secured two grants. The first totals $2,321,828 and is for “regional aquifer protection land acquisition.” According to a statement sent by Conservation Programs Assistant Josh Halsey, it is a 75 percent matching grant to conserve properties in groundwater protection zones within the Peconic Estuary and Forge River watersheds, as well as the South Shore Estuary Reserve. He was unable to specify within which communities the protected land is located.

The other $500,000 comes specifically from the New York State Grown and Certified Grant Program, which provides money for agricultural producers to meet statewide food safety standards.

Three different groups based in Sag Harbor secured a grand total of nearly $2 million. The village itself received $550,000 for the “Long Wharf Rehabilitation Project,” though the exact work that would entail was not immediately clear.

Mayor Sandra Schroeder did not return several calls this week, so it was not clear what her village intends to do with the funding.

In addition, Sag Harbor Industries Inc. received $27,123 for “solder and ISO training,” and the Sag Harbor Partnership received $1.4 million to help rebuild the Sag Harbor Cinema that was torn down after being gutting by a fire last December.

Rounding off the recipients, the East End Tourism Alliance received $187,000 for “craft beverage promotion weekends”; the Long Island Wine Council secured $150,000 for a “wine tourism marketing project”; and Southampton Town took home $26,000 for its maritime trail in Riverside.

“These economic development grants represent a major commitment by the State of New York to take the lead in creating jobs and improving the economy,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement. “I am pleased that Long Island was chosen for such substantial funding and that the businesses and communities in my district will benefit.”

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5.5 million secured for south Fork and Riverside took home the least of the bounty towards its revitalization efforts that have been a ongoing issue for the last 25 years.Comparable grants issued for Long-Wharf revitalization,a movie theater,wine tourism and revitalization in other plush communities that Flanders and Riverside residents would love to call home.I see we are still being kept as a bottom feeder to no surprise.But Thank You for the 26,000 thou!
By Shout ot loud (20), Southampton on Dec 28, 17 8:39 PM
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