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Northport may get more time to repay $2M loan to state agency

The Northport sewer plant in Northport on Thursday,

The Northport sewer plant in Northport on Thursday, July 31, 2014. Credit: Daniel Rader

Northport trustees said Thursday that the state Environmental Facilities Corporation may give the village more time to repay about $2 million it owes the agency for loans that funded a major sewer treatment plant upgrade.

“We’ve received word . . . that they’re seriously considering giving us an extension,” Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said Thursday, adding that the extension could be one to two years.

Corporation officials said they could not provide details on discussions with the village.

“EFC will continue to work with the Village of Northport to provide them with the time they need to receive their grants and pay off their loan,” spokesman John D. Chirlin said in an email late Thursday.

Village officials had expected to be able to pay back the loan by the Sept. 22 deadline with funds from various state grants. But officials have still not received a $1.5 million Regional Economic Development grant awarded in 2013, or two State Aid to Municipalities grants totaling $150,000.

Between the outstanding grants and $377,000 from a Suffolk County Sewer Infrastructure grant expected to hit village coffers later this month, Northport officials anticipated that the shortfall for the Corporation loan would be about $10,400. Tobin said the amount could be covered by drawing from Northport’s reserve funds.

The $1.5 million grant was under review at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York for about 20 months, an agency spokesman said this week, adding that the process was completed in July.

A spokesman for the State Division of the Budget said Thursday that it would be a few weeks before the state gives the grant final approval.

The Corporation’s short-term financing allowed the village to make mandated upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant that have dramatically reduced its nitrogen emissions into Northport Bay.

The extension would be a “lifeline” for Northport, Tobin said, adding that the village was told that the Corporation would make a decision in time for the village’s trustee meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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