Water Authority begins work in East Marion

TIM KELLY PHOTO Yes, the Suffolk County Water Authority is installing new mains along the Main Road, but in East Marion west of the causeway, not in Orient.

A Suffolk County Water Authority crew began digging a service main extension in East Marion this week, but the pipeline will not cross the causeway into Orient.
The authority is not pursuing the much-maligned $7 million three-mile extension that was to be funded in part with stimulus money. It is instead laying 2,100 feet of pipe from just east of Greenport to Truman’s Path. The extension will serve 29 existing homes. Twelve of those homeowners have signed up for public water, giving the authority the 40 percent participation it requires before running new mains into a previously unserved community.
The houses are located within the town’s water map, an area designated by the Town Board as appropriate for public water service. The fight against the authority’s plans for Orient centered on the town’s contention that the designated area ended at the causeway.
The SCWA is attempting to convince the state, which funnels New York’s stimulus funds to local projects, to reallocate both the $3 million grant for its aborted Orient extension to the East Marion project, a $200,000 job, as well as $2 million in funding for an effort to bring public water to 214 homes in Peconic Lake Estates in Calverton. The state denied that request last month.
Regardless, the authority is proceeding with the East Marion component “and we expect reimbursement,” said authority CEO Jeff Szabo.
Before bringing its heavy equipment to East Marion, the authority took pains to contact town officials and the leaders of the Orient project opposition.
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