Suffolk County is providing grants of as much as $15,000 for small companies trying to connect with the county’s sewer methods.

The initiative is one in all a number of federally-funded efforts to increase sewers and enhance water high quality in Suffolk, the place three-quarters of properties are served by outdated septic methods and cesspools which don’t cut back nitrogen air pollution.

The $1 million pilot program might be funded by the county’s $125 million Water High quality Safety and Restoration Program. It was created with cash from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, or COVID-19 stimulus bundle, signed by President Joe Biden in 2021.

Property house owners should bear the person prices of connecting to the system. County officers estimate the grants will fund half the connection prices. This system will steer candidates towards Dime Neighborhood Financial institution for loans to cowl the remaining.

Functions for the grants will be made starting this fall. 

This system is anticipated to assist 65 companies with 25 or fewer workers, county officers mentioned throughout a information convention Wednesday. Companies should meet different necessities, together with not having any open property tax liens.

It is the primary such program for enterprise house owners excited about tapping into Suffolk’s wastewater remedy methods. County and state grants stay accessible for householders seeking to set up particular person high-tech septic methods.

The invoice authorizing the small enterprise program was sponsored by Legis. Jim Mazzarella (R-Moriches) and accepted by the county legislature Might 2.

Mose Costigliola, co-owner of Mama Lisa Restaurant on Montauk Freeway which hosted the information convention, mentioned he might be among the many first to use. His enterprise is within the Forge River Watershed Sewer District the place a $225 million sewer undertaking is underway.

“We’ve got a cesspool system exterior that prices us some huge cash each month, and typically it will get over-flooded,” Costigliola mentioned. “It [sewers] goes to be cheaper and it will be environmentally pleasant.”

A protracted-term answer to increase sewer methods in Suffolk may value billions, with income coming from a proposed 1/8-cent gross sales tax enhance. 

A invoice authorizing the county to place the tax hike on the November poll cleared the State Legislature this 12 months, however county legislators haven’t signaled whether or not it is going to be on the poll.

Vera Chinese language covers Suffolk County authorities and politics.

By Editor