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Riverhead to try again for revitalization grant, this time with Southampton

Riverhead will again vie for a $10 million Long Island Downtown Revitalization grant, but this year the town will agree to apply along with Southampton Town for a better chance at the state funds.

The town discussed applying for the grant with Southampton last year, but ultimately chose to try for the funds alone, officials said at last Thursday’s Town Board work session.

“We think it will be a much stronger application if we apply with them,” assistant community development project supervisor Joseph Maiorana said.

Last year, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council chose Westbury to receive the revitalizations funds. The hope is that this year a Suffolk County application will be chosen, Mr. Maiorana said.

Deputy town attorney Dawn Thomas said she’s gotten a hint from the state that the joint application, which is due June 14, would help. The funds would be put toward planning and implementation of projects that have not yet been determined, she said.

Councilman John Dunleavy wondered how the money would be shared between the two towns.

“I think we’d have to have an agreement with them if we got the award it would be 50/50,” town Supervisor Sean Walter said, adding that the state can make two towns happy if the application is selected.

Mr. Walter said he supports the combined application so that Riverhead does not submit the same request as last year. Councilman Tim Hubbard said that while he’d prefer Riverhead to get the full $10 million to continue the downtown’s mission, he understands the advantage in splitting it with Southampton.

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