Brookhaven Town has been awarded a $30,000 state environmental grant to study connecting Suffolk County sewer lines to a commercial center in North Bellport.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine on Wednesday said preliminary work on the study has begun.
“Once this report is done, we can go on to the next step and try to secure funding” to extend sewer lines, Romaine said in a phone interview.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grant would be used to prepare an engineering plan, map of the area and a report on how a sewer system would connect the Greater Bellport Hamlet Center to Suffolk County’s Harrison Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant.
Romaine said he believes some funding could become available through Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, or possibly under President Donald Trump’s plan for infrastructure.
“The economic revitalization of the Greater Bellport Hamlet Center relies greatly on a future connection to the sewage treatment plant,” Romaine said in a statement. “I have met with many property owners and business people in the Bellport community and there is a new sense of progress and enthusiasm for the future.”
A 2013 sewer feasibility study commissioned by Brookhaven found connecting to the plant was environmentally safe and would foster new development. Brookhaven’s 2014 Greater Bellport Land Use Plan envisioned a transit-oriented downtown.
Extending sewer connections to the Montauk Highway corridor in Bellport also has been identified as needed for economic development in the area.
“Moving forward on a sewer line to service Bellport has been a top priority of mine since taking office,” Brookhaven Councilman Michael Loguercio said in a statement. “Their absence has been a deterrent to the development of new business and harmful to the environment. I expect that once the sewers are in, we’ll see a real turnaround in the local economy.”