Funds unlocked for four Town of North Hempstead projects

The Island Now

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-Brooklyn) on Friday announced that the state Department of Transportation has approved the Town of North Hempstead’s use of $2 million in federal transportation funds that were previously allocated but unused.
In 2005, the town was awarded $2 million in funding for a repaving project on Grand Boulevard in Westbury, but the project was completed using other funds, so the money was left untouched.
Speaking in front of the Port Washington Long Island Railroad station in May, Schumer  called on the Federal Highway Administration and state Department of Transportation to restore the funds.
“Finally, North Hempstead has been given the key it needs to access $2 million in previously locked funds and the good news is, the town will be able to use this money on local, critically needed projects like the revitalization of Port Washington’s Main Street,” he said. “After 10 years of being locked up in federal coffers, this federal funding will finally be put to good use and enable the Town of North Hempstead to get work on four shovel-ready projects. This leftover earmark will go a long way in creating local jobs and spurring the local economy.”
Schumer helped pass a  provision in the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act that allows federal  and state agencies to authorize the repurposing of unused funds for a new project.
Until that provision was passed, federal rules prevented municipalities from reusing any federal funding, even if the original project was no longer needed.
Schumer said that if a newly needed project was within 50 miles of the originally funded project, then the funds could be used.
The four  transportation projects the town will be using the funds on, including drainage and infrastructure improvements on Main Street near the Port Washington LIRR station, a two-mile expansion and development project of the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail, a reconstruction project for the culvert that connects Leeds Pond in Plandome Manor and the Manhasset Bay and a planning, design and engineering project for the Garden City Park Industrial Zone.
According to Schumer’s office, $500,000 would be allocated for the Port Washington revitalization project, $700,000 for the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail project, $500,000 for the culvert reconstruction project and $300,000 for the Garden City Park Industrial Zone project.
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the reallocation of the funds allows the town to address necessary projects.
“We thank Senator Schumer for assisting us in getting the approval to repurpose the use of federal transportation dollars,” Bosworth said. “The new funding will enable North Hempstead to complete several new projects that will improve our infrastructure, benefit our residents while reducing the need for borrowing for projects.
“We are excited to break ground and get started.”

By Joe Nikic

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