Peace in the business community

05/27/2010 12:00 AM |

Greenport High School shop teacher Mike Davies (standing, left) with his students who constructed flower boxes that will soon adorn sidewalks outside various village stores. The village has agreed to plant at least one of the boxes with purple and gold flowers, signifying the school’s colors. Riverhead Lumber donated the mahogany from which the boxes were made.

There will be no Greenport Chamber of Commerce, which some local business people have wanted, but the village will get two new representatives on the North Fork Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

According to chamber president Joe Corso, the arrangement is intended to ensure that Greenport businesses get the attention they need without having to create a Greenport-only chamber.

“Greenport has come a long way in the past 20 years and it’s all for the better,” said Mr. Corso, who operates Peconic Retreat in Cutchogue and has a summer home in Greenport. “They were just feeling a little left out,” he said of the renewed effort to keep Greenporters involved with the chamber and get the chamber more involved in the village.

“We’re going to see how it goes,” said Leueen Miller of the Greenport improvement committee. “We decided to go for it,” she said of the chamber’s offer to add more Greenport members to its board. The chamber already has some Greenport representation, he said.

The chamber of commerce will host an art show in Mitchell Park on June 26 and Mr. Corso said he will ask the two new board members, once they’re named, to focus on other events to benefit village merchants.

Greenport Business Association members, some of whom had been pushing for a Greenport chamber, are pleased with the solution, as are members of the Village Board’s village improvement committee, Ms. Miller said. She pointed to a number of projects the GBA and the committee are fostering, including a drive to see pictures placed in empty storefront windows to make the downtown area more inviting.

The committee is also finishing work at the little red schoolhouse on Front Street at the southern end of First Street. And the Village Board has just approved money for a new roof at the old village jail on Carpenter Street, which the improvement committee wants to promote as a tourist site.

Greenport students have constructed flower boxes that will be placed around the business district with the proviso that the merchants who take the boxes maintain them — and the plants that will come with them. Riverhead Building Supply contributed the mahogany wood for the boxes.

Other projects on the agenda include an oyster festival, likely to be held in the fall, and ongoing efforts to plan for the 2010 Holiday Festival. That got under way this past year with new lights and new events for the holiday season. The improvement committee wants to build on that success, Ms. Miller said.