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Port Jefferson to use grant for boardwalk

With a $100,000 state grant, Port Jefferson officials plan to build the last piece of boardwalk on the village's harbor -- and fulfill the vision of a thriving waterfront business community.

Port Jefferson will match the state money for a $200,000 project to build a boardwalk between the town marina's boardwalk and Harborfront Park near the Village Center, officials said.

"This section of boardwalk needs to be complete to be a safe walk," said Mayor Margot Garant. "We're looking to bring that section of pier up to speed with the town boardwalk with the same stainless steel rail."

The state funds were included in the $101.6 million Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently awarded Long Island projects, to drive economic growth and create jobs.

The project will go out for bids right after New Year's, and work will begin as soon as weather permits.

Once the boardwalk is finished, officials have a list of other projects to pursue, Garant said.

"We were looking to do a dinghy dock, and we're looking at creating a launch service for visitors to come to town by boat. So we'll have temporary mooring or temporary boat slip and bring services out to them, like takeout food deliveries," she said.

While the village's portion of state aid was modest compared with the millions awarded to other projects, Garant said the money will be instrumental in launching bigger plans.

"It doesn't always reflect in the amount of money you're receiving. It's the whole concept of any kind of economic growth," she said. "We think it's going to make a significant contribution. We think the marina population is untapped."

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