PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | When the Riverhead Sewer District is able to upgrade its facility off Riverside Drive, the water being currently treated at the plant would then be pumped through a new, high-tech filtration system before reaching Peconic Bay.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post reported the town sewer district will be receiving money from Suffolk County, however the measure still must go to a full vote of the county Legislature next month.
County and town officials are getting set to announce today that Riverhead Town is in line to win the lion’s share — $8.09 million in grants and up to $4.05 million in loans — of $26.39 million for funding for economic development projects throughout Suffolk.
The money would go toward the state-mandated, $20 million upgrade to the town’s sewer plant, which discharges into Peconic Byy near Indian Island.
However, resolutions to fund the grants, which are being introduced at Thursday’s meeting of the Legislature, won’t go to legislative vote until Oct. 8, county officials said. (See editor’s note above.)
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, county Legislator Al Krupski, Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter and Adrienne Esposito, the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment are making the accouncement at a 3:30 p.m. press event at the town sewer plant.
Five communities are in line to receive funding for projects, with Riverhead being the largest recipient, according to Mr. Bellone’s office.
As previously reported in a New-Review cover story, which was later published online, town officials had admitted they didn’t have the money to upgrade the plant by the the state’s January 2014 deadline.
And they were pinning their hopes on the county grants, which they applied for in June.
As reporting in May, the town sewer district spent about $1 million drafting plans for the upgrade in 2009. Those plans involve converting and repurposing a number of existing tanks at the plant as a way to contain costs.
The sewer district currently has about $2.1 million available through a state grant, $700,000 set aside in a nitrogen-mitigation fund and a remaining district fund balance that can be applied toward the upgrade, town officials had said.
That still left the district about $12 million short of what’s needed.
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