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Village Board discusses dredging Sterling Harbor, new pumpout boats

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will meet with village officials this week to explore the possibility of dredging Sterling Harbor, according to Mayor George Hubbard. 

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips raised the issue recently, saying the creek is getting shallower as storms keep coming through and that the breakwater at the entrance to the harbor is also in need of repair.

Mr. Hubbard said he’s been in contact with Congressman Lee Zeldin’s office about the dredging project. 

The Army Corps will meet with Greenport officials Tuesday and then with Shelter Island officials for a project there, Mr. Hubbard said. 

“We’re trying to streamline the process,” the mayor said.

Sterling Harbor was last dredged in 1986, according to officials. 

New pumpout boats

Greenport Village will have two pumpout boats on the water next summer.

The Village Board voted this week to purchase a used pumpout boat that Riverhead Town had declared surplus. 

For a period during the summer of 2017, when its only boat broke down, the village had no pumpout capability at all. 

“It’s in, as far as we can tell, very, very good shape,” village administrator Paul Pallas said of the Riverhead boat. “This one is significantly larger than the one we have. It’s twice the size of the current one.”

“It will be here for next season,” the mayor said. “We’ll have a bigger, better boat and we’ll have the other as a backup.” 

The village paid $20,000 for the boat, according to Riverhead Town. 

The pumpout boats help ensure that boaters aren’t discharging waste into the water. 

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Photo caption: Sterling Harbor. (Tim Gannon file photo)