The Village of Northport has received a $1.5 million state grant to help pay for its sewage treatment plant.
Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) obtained the grant by working with county and state legislators. The village has also applied for an additional $7.5 million grant from the county, which would pay for the remaining cost of the $9 million project.
"The money involved in upgrading this plant is the biggest hurdle," said Northport Mayor George Doll at a news conference Thursday at Huntington Town Hall.
Doll gathered with other elected officials and environmental advocates. The Northport Harbor Water Quality Committee, which is co-chaired by Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and Citizens Campaign for the Environment executive director Adrienne Esposito, also announced its support for Northport's application to the county.
The Northport project has started and will ultimately reduce nitrogen emissions from the plant from 18.5 pounds per day to 10 pounds per day by August 2014 -- a mandate being overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Environmental experts and local officials say the upgrade could mitigate red tide, a harmful algae bloom that has caused numerous shellfish closures in Northport Bay, Huntington Bay and surrounding waters since it was discovered in 2006.
"The issue not only affects the Village of Northport, it affects everything around the harbor," Spencer said.
The project includes two additions -- housing denitrification and pH equipment.
Northport Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said the village will issue a bond for any unmet costs, and that amount, if needed, would be determined in the summer of 2014.