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Village Board expected to vote on Shelter Island cable project next week

The Greenport Village Board is expected to vote at its next meeting on a contract with Long Island Power Authority to allow LIPA to run an underground electric cable down Fifth Street, according to Mayor George Hubbard Jr.

The cable will run past a residential neighborhood, along with a public park and beach before running under the bay to Shelter Island, to improve the town’s power supply.

The cable will not provide power to Greenport Village, which has its own power company. The agreement would see LIPA — which owns the electric grid and contracts with PSEG Long Island to operate it — pay the village a $1.3 million access fee.

LIPA also would agree to resurface Fifth Street once the work is done, and would agree to reinforce the existing overhead and underground circuit running from LIPA’s Southold substation to a point just east of Chapel Lane. Officials say it would limit the duration of power shortages in the village.

The cable has been a source of controversy, particularly among Fifth and Sixth Street residents, many of whom have expressed frustration that Shelter Island Town has refused to build a power substation in its town, thus requiring LIPA to provide power to the island from elsewhere.

The Village Board has allotted time at their meetings for residents to provide input on the cable.

But Mr. Hubbard said on Thursday that he believes it’s time for the board to vote. The next meeting is April 27.

“We have a contract. I’m comfortable with it, the board is comfortable with it, and we will be voting on it next week,” Mr. Hubbard said.

The village has posted information about the project on its website as well, Mr. Hubbard said.

“I think we got a good deal,” he said.

The draft contract with LIPA calls for work on the cable installation to run from Sept. 17, 2017 to May 15, 2018 at the latest.

The Town of Shelter Island and the Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Association also must vote to approve the contract before it takes effect.

Photo caption: A view of the 5th Street Beach in Greenport. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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