When Trustee Aiden Corish reported at the Sag Harbor Village Board meeting on January 8 that the state had rejected the village’s application for a consolidated grant of $2.5 million to help fund the renovation of Long Wharf, it was one little detail at a meeting dominated by other things.
But once that information sank in, it begged the question: What is the future for the Long Wharf project — one so many years in the making since the village acquired the wharf from the county seven years ago.
That grant, together with one received in 2017, would have paid for the full renovation and redevelopment of Long Wharf, a roughly $3 million project involving one of the village’s most visible facilities and one that is certainly a liability in its current condition. How will the village proceed after losing out on such a significant financing source? Is the wharf project now on indefinite hold? What if the continuing search for grant money, after another year of suspense, the result is the same?
Properly maintaining Long Wharf is expensive but critically important. Improving it as a village attraction — and potential revenue source — is almost as critical. As Mayor Sandra Schroeder has acknowledged, it’s time to talk about committing to a bond issue so a solid timetable can be set for the work.
Let’s hope the other members of the Village Board are on board with this next step, which should have no impact on the continued search for grants and other revenue sources to limit the impact on taxpayers.