One of the biggest marina companies in the world is not only paying for the dredging of the entrance to Stirling Basin, which hasn’t been done in years, but it also plans to contribute to the cost of extending Greenport’s sewer district to the Sandy Beach area as well to its two marinas, which are mostly outside the village boundary.
The Greenport Village Board voted Thursday to apply for “a Consolidated Funding Application grant for the purpose of obtaining funding for the potential sewer main extension to the Sandy Beach area.”
Mike Acebo, a retired manager of Greenport Yacht Club (formerly Brewers) and Sterling Harbor Marina, which are both now owned by Safe Harbor Marinas, addressed the subject at Thursday’s Village Board meeting.
He said that while he is retired as marina manager, he is working on the sewer hookup issue for Safe Harbor, which bills itself as the largest owner and operator of marinas in the world.
“Safe Harbor Marinas is extremely involved and is prepared to put money into this project, along with doing the dredging,” Mr. Acebo told the Village Board.
The estimated cost of the job is about $1.8 million, he said afterward. They are seeking a $1 million grant from a Long Island Economic Development Council, and they are looking for a Suffolk County grant to pay the rest, he said.
Currently, the Sandy Beach area is the only part of the village not connected to the village sewer district. It has about 26 homes.
Safe Harbor is not only looking to connect the Sandy Beach properties to the village sewer, it’s also looking to connect its two marinas and one restaurant, which are mostly outside the village boundaries.
The Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, which was last updated in 2014, specifically states, “all development shall be served by the Village’s public water supply and sewage system,” Mr. Acebo said.
The village sewer district currently has agreements to serve a number of properties that are outside the village boundaries. These include Peconic Landing, San Simeon, Greenport School, KOI Campground, Driftwood Cove apartments and the Silver Sands Motel.
The lack of a sewer connection and reliance on cesspools not only harms the water quality, it also prevents Safe Harbor from upgrading and maintaining its facilities, Mr. Acebo said.
Arthur Tasker, who owns a home on Sandy Beach, supported the sewer connection, saying that Sandy Beach residents are often castigated for polluting the water because they use cesspools and are close to the water, yet at the same time, the village has not permitted them to be a part of the sewer district.
“You can’t have it both ways,” he said.
Photo Caption: Safe Harbor Marina in Greenport. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)