Municipalities and nonprofits across the South Fork earned a number of grants from New York State Regional Economic Development Councils, which announced $761 million in funding Thursday, including $1.5 million for Sag Harbor Village’s redevelopment of Long Wharf.
According to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., a total of $87.9 million was awarded to Long Island.
The Village of Sag Harbor was awarded the second-highest grant on the South Fork with the funding for Long Wharf. The project “rehabilitates the facility with the replacement of the deteriorated bulkhead; ADA compliant access; the installation of safety guard rails, promenade surfacing for environmental sustainability, and new lighting and seating areas to encourage tourism and scenic vistas,” according to the project description.
Earlier this month, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to bond $550,000 to install electric on the wharf for the luxury yachts that dock there, as well as for the transient boat slips. On Thursday, Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy said that while the board would need to discuss where to earmark the state funds specifically, that bond may now be unnecessary, with the village able to use the state funding to cover that expense.
“We have also not financed an upgrade for the transient docks, so it may be that can happen now,” she said, “and the rest will cover debt service” of the original bond approved in June for the Long Wharf project.
This is the second economic development grant the Village of Sag Harbor has been awarded for the Long Wharf project. In 2017, it received $550,000 specifically to erect a walkway around the Wharf, lighting and for some of the bulkhead replacement. It was in that same round of funding that the Sag Harbor Partnership was awarded $1.4 million to purchase the Sag Harbor Cinema property on Main Street.
“A major part of what the economic development councils have been particularly focused on is downtowns and downtown revitalization,” Mr. Thiele said on Thursday. “This project received that smaller award two years ago when I think clearly the pressing priority was the need to acquire the cinema property. But because this was an important downtown project, this year, this project became the priority.”
“It’s magnificent,” Ms. Mulcahy said on Thursday. “We could not be more grateful to the State of New York. And I think it is deserved. This will offer huge economic development not just for Sag Harbor, but the whole East End. This is exactly what this kind of funding is meant for — it’s really a poster child for what this kind of funding can accomplish.”
Other East End grant awards:
- The Peconic Land Trust earned the East End’s largest award — $3.65 million to implement the next phase of its Regional Aquifer Protection Land Acquisition Program to acquire land or development rights to project Long Island’s sole source aquifer. According to the grant award, land acquisition will be focused in Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Shelter Island and East Hampton to protect land in Central Suffolk, Southold and South Fork Special Groundwater Protection Areas within the Peconic Estuary and Long Island Sound Study Watershed. The Land Trust earned a second $200,000 grant to create a working waterfront for aquaculture in East Moriches.
- The Amagansett Food Institute earned $300,000 for the East End Food Hub, a commercial kitchen for early stage food companies to help promote and support regional farms and food businesses.
- The Montauk Historical Society earned two state grants for the restoration of the Montauk Lighthouse. The society will get $125,000 for the restoration of the lighthouse tower through the installation of a breathable coating system to protect the tower’s exterior stone and $313,500 to restore the tower itself.
- The Parrish Art Museum received a grant for $60,000 to employ and mentor two fellows over two years in the curatorial and education departments for two years. The Southampton Arts Center was also successful in its bid for two grants — $55,000 to enhance its historic grounds to improve accessibility, safety and for the purchase of an outdoor stage, audio and sound reinforcement and outdoor landscape. It earned a second grant for $14,000 for an outdoor covered stage, landscape and architectural light and operational efficiency.
- The Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack will build a new Garden Welcome Center and educational space thanks for a $47,000 development grant.
- The Town of Shelter Island received two grant awards — $30,000 to complete a feasibility study for in-waterbody control of nutrients in Fresh Pond to eliminate harmful algal blooms in what is a water recharge source for the island’s sole-source aquifer. A second grant for $30,000 is for an engineering study to evaluate the feasibility of a centralized wastewater treatment system for municipal facilities that currently use cesspools.
- The Town of Southampton earned two grants: $300,000 for the rehabilitation of the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Dock and $50,000 to complete an engineering report for a new wastewater treatment facility for Hampton Bays.
- Southampton Village earned $186,714 in funding to implement a green infrastructure project to improve drainage on Gin Lane at the end of Lake Agawam to improve water quality and reduce and treat stormwater runoff. The village also was awarded $30,000 for a feasibility study for dredging Lake Agawam.
- The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center earned $500,000 for a new space for its Arts Academy educational programs for year-round productions and to also increase programming for low-income residents.