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Glen Cove takes in last federal funding for ferry project

The Glen Cove City Council has unanimously accepted the last $127,500 in federal money needed for the city's multimillion-dollar ferry terminal project.

The council passed a resolution at its Wednesday night meeting to take the funds, which are to be used toward construction of the ferry terminal building. The council also authorized spending an additional $298,531 in capital funds for the structure.

"The ferry has been a polarizing issue for many years in the past because there was a failure," said Mayor Reginald Spinello Thursday, referring to a Glen Cove ferry service that ran for 18 months to Manhattan before stopping in 2002 because of low ridership.

"At this particular juncture, if you look at the successes of other waterfront communities . . . they have grown their municipalities quite a bit based on ferry and marine activity. We're hoping to do the same here."

The city is responsible for $793,000 of the $3,465,995 project, Spinello said.

The project's first phase, completed in 2012, included the construction of the bulkhead, the basin that will hold two ferry boats, piers, ramps, docks and a parking lot.

Mineola-based Web Construction Corp. is the general contractor of the second phase, the ferry terminal, for which it is slated to start erecting steel beams next month, officials said.

The ferry terminal and the slip have long been a part of the planned Garvies Point development, a waterfront project of Uniondale-based RXR Realty. The planning board is expected to approve the waterfront's site plan at its next meeting on Tuesday.

Patricia Tracy, a lifelong city resident who opposes the ferry, at Wednesday's meeting listed surrounding ferries that have failed, including the one in Glen Cove.

"There is a history of ferries being created in the metropolitan area, money being spent on them, and they all fail," Tracy said Thursday. "People don't want to ride a ferry because it's too cold."

Myralee Machol, executive director of the Glen Cove Community Development Agency, said city officials hope to issue a request for proposals for a ferry operator next month.

"I personally think it will work . . . and I think the timing is perfect," Machol said.

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