State: Calverton neighborhood doesn’t meet criteria for stimulus money

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO Polluted water taken from a well in Calverton. A plan to use federal stimulus money to connect residents with public water was denied last week.

A plan to use $2 million in federal stimulus money to help connect a brown water-plagued Calverton neighborhood with public water was denied last week because the project doesn’t meet certain standards for stimulus funding, state officials said.

Elected officials and the Suffolk County Water Authority made a push last month to redirect the $2 million – -funds that were slated to run a water main through a 24-home Orient neighborhood called Browns Hills — to help pay for the project in Peconic Lake Estates. The 214 homes in the low- to middle-income neighborhood rely entirely on well water.

But the state determined on Oct. 13 that the Calverton project wouldn’t be eligible because, under the law, the money slated for Browns Hills must be redirected to an already approved project that had run out of funding, officials said.

Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) said, “The door isn’t closed on Calverton.” And he vowed to continue his push in securing federal funding for Calverton Lake Estates.

“We are determined to keep it as a Suffolk County Water Authority project,” he said.

Officials at the Suffolk County Water Authority, which is not a county agency but a state public benefit corporation, sent a letter to Governor David Paterson Monday requesting he intervene and assist with securing the federal funding for the Calverton project.

“Despite our letter to Suffolk County Water Authority, we are working with Congressman Bishop and the federal government to see what is possible,” said Jeffrey Hammond, spokesman for the New York State Department of Health.

[email protected]

This post was originally published Oct. 18, 2010