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Glen Cove to borrow $4.6M while waiting for promised grants

The Glen Cove City Council voted to borrow

The Glen Cove City Council voted to borrow money for several projects, including a ferry terminal. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The Glen Cove City Council has voted to borrow $4.6 million while the city waits for grant money state and federal governments have promised.

The money is for several projects for which grant money is paid only after work is performed, said city Comptroller Sal Lombardi.

Interest on the revenue anticipation note — which is a note an issuer plans to pay back with expected revenues — will be determined by the market, Lombardi said. He estimated interest charges would add up to about $120,000.

City resident Marsha Silverman told officials they should have planned better to avoid having to borrow money.

“You’re just burdening the taxpayer further” with the interest charge, Silverman said during a special City Council meeting held Tuesday night to decide whether to issue the note.

Lombardi said the grant money is not coming in as quickly as anticipated.

“The projects are moving very quickly and the money from the government is coming back very slowly,” he said.

The money from the note will be used to ensure continued progress on the projects, which include the city’s new ferry terminal, Lombardi said.

The council approved the note unanimously Tuesday night, although Councilman Timothy Tenke said he was “bothered” by the interest payment.

“The extra $120,000 cost to the taxpayers isn’t fair,” he said.

Tenke urged Lombardi to ask state and federal officials to help cover the interest cost.

Lombardi said the city received approval for $6.8 million in grants for the projects and has so far received only $2.2 million.

“We expect to be reimbursed for everything by the end of the year,” he said.

Resident Steve Gonzalez said, “I hope we’ll have this grant money in time.”

Lombardi said an additional short-term note could be issued if all of the money doesn’t arrive by December.

About half the anticipated revenue is from grants for the ferry terminal, Lombardi said. Another $1.2 million in expected grant money is for reconstruction of Garvies Point Road, near the ferry terminal and the planned waterfront redevelopment project. The rest is for cleaning up Mill Pond, improvements to the water system and a study of a proposed redevelopment area.

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