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Center Moriches, Eastport cited for downtown improvement grants

Brookhaven Town officials are seeking $160G in Suffolk County grants to add streetlights, replace “Welcome” sign along Montauk Highway.

As part of the grant funding plan, officials

As part of the grant funding plan, officials want $5,000 to replace the Welcome to Center Moriches sign on Montauk Highway, seen here on June 29, 2011. Photo Credit: Carl Corry

Brookhaven Town officials plan to apply for $160,000 in Suffolk County grant funding to spruce up a pair of downtown districts along Montauk Highway.

Town officials last week adopted a resolution to apply for the Round 16 of Suffolk County’s Downtown Revitalization Grants Program.

The town is asking for $133,000 for the installation of streetlights along Montauk Highway near downtown Eastport as part of the Eastport Green Project.

Officials also want $5,000 on behalf of the Center Moriches Beautification Organization to replace the “Welcome to Center Moriches” sign on Montauk Highway.

Brookhaven would contribute $22,500 in matching funds to the projects if the county money is awarded.

“We frequently hear from community groups desiring to apply for these grants,” said Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico, who represents the Center Moriches and Eastport area. “Ultimately, it’s up to the county with regard to what projects they award.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in January announced that grant applications were being accepted. Applications are due May 25, county officials have said.

Organizations representing downtown areas around the county are eligible to apply, including business improvement districts, chambers of commerce, civic associations, historical societies and beautification societies.

Towns or villages that, like Brookhaven, partner with a community organization are required to pass resolutions supporting the project on which the two entities partner.

Among eligible projects are public parking facilities, curb and sidewalk construction, pedestrian walkways, street lighting, public restrooms, disabled accessibility, renovations to existing structures, cultural and recreational facilities, according to county officials. Suffolk last year received 16 applications with 12 being funded.

Since 1997, Suffolk has awarded over $11.5 million in funds for downtown revitalization initiatives.

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