Greenport Village seeks input on PSEG cable project contract

Fifth Street in Greenport

Greenport Village officials are hoping to get as much feedback from the public as possible before signing a contract with PSEG-Long Island to allow the energy company to run an electric cable under Fifth Street and across the bay to Shelter Island.

During Thursday’s Village Board meeting, Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said there will be a public comment period to discuss the proposal at the beginning of Village Board meetings.

“We want to give everybody enough time so nobody says we’ve rushed into a contract,” Mr. Hubbard said. “We want to vet it out completely beforehand.”

The Village Board met with village attorney Joseph Prokop and village administrator Paul Pallas during an executive session Monday to go over the contract “line by line incorporating everyone’s requests and concerns,” the mayor said.

Fear over construction damage has been a main concern of Fifth Street homeowners. Residents have also objected to the plan because its intention is to help Shelter Island’s power supply, not Greenport’s.

Elected officials on Shelter Island passed a rule that barred PSEG from directly installing a substation on the island, forcing the power company to feed the island power from elsewhere.

In November, the Village Board agreed to have contract negotiations with PSEG after they reached a tentative agreement that includes a $1.3 million cash payment from the energy company, as well as road paving work and free installation of an electrical switch that could shorten village power outages.

“The residents of Fifth Street would love to see more information,” Ralph Edwards of Fifth Street told the Village Board on Thursday.

Fellow Fifth Street resident Dena Zemsky said PSEG has already put blue markings on her property and asked if the village authorized had that.

Mr. Hubbard said the village did not authorize PSEG to go on private properties.

Trustee Doug Roberts said the blue markings are there to show where the water mains are located.

In addition to discussing public input opportunities Thursday night, the Village Board approved a $2,500 contract with engineering firm Cashin Associates to review PSEG’s environmental impact studies. The Village Board also hired attorney Jonathan Sinnreich to assist with the PSEG deal.

Mr. Sinnreich, who is former member of LIPA’s board of directors, is being paid an rate of $225 per hour to assist Mr. Prokop.

[email protected]

File photo credit: Paul Squire