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Jun 21, 2019 11:47 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Receives $75,000 Grant For Shoreline Restoration In Riverside

Members of FRNCA and Riverside Rediscovered at the Grangebel Park in Riverside. From left to right: Riverside Rediscovered community liaison Siris Barrios, FRNCA Vice President Angela Huneault, FRNCA board member Millie Roth, FRNCA President Vince Taldone, FRNCA Treasurer Paola Zuniga Tellez, FRNCA Secretary Sandy Adams and her daughter Donna Adams. PRESS FILE
Jun 26, 2019 11:19 AM

The Southampton Town Board is chipping away at the $2.6 million price tag that comes along with the construction of a 14-acre waterfront park in Riverside.

The Maritime Trail Park will be completed in two distinct phases, according to Steven Nieroda, a senior associate with Southampton-based Araiys Design—the firm behind the conceptual design, which was approved by the Town Board in December.

Completing the first phase, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million, however, just got a lot more manageable: The town was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

At a work session on Thursday, June 20, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the funds are to be used specifically for shoreline restoration, which includes removing invasive plant species and dredge spoils from the Peconic River.

Vince Taldone, president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, explained that the Town Board plans to authorize a contract with one of three engineering firms—Araiys Design, Melville-based Nelson & Pope Engineering & Surveyors, or Hauppauge-based Cashin Associates—on July 9.

The chosen firm would be responsible for laying the architectural groundwork for the project, including obtaining permits and completing an environmental analysis, Mr. Taldone said. He added that the cost would be covered by three state grants, totaling $285,000, that were awarded to Southampton Town last year.

Mr. Taldone said that if all goes according to plan, the Town Board is expected to hire a contracting firm to begin constructing the park, beginning with the shoreline restoration, in February 2020.

However, Mr. Taldone explained that eliminating the invasive species will likely take five years to complete. Each year, contractors will need to reassess the shoreline and repeatedly “beat back” the invasive plants, he said: “It’s not an easy fix.”

It’s unclear whether the $75,000 grant will fully cover the initial clearing costs; however, Mr. Taldone said that each consecutive year, the cost would likely decrease. Pointing to the existing support from the DEC, which awarded two $50,000 grants to FRNCA last year, he added that he was optimistic that the town would receive additional state funding to complete the project.

“If they’re willing to put money into the design, you have to assume that they’re willing to put money toward the building and the shoreline restoration,” he said.

Other big-ticket items to be completed in the first phase include a 1.6-mile maritime trail—a raised path that will run east-west from Flanders Road, near the McDonald’s, and up the Peconic River—as well as a kayak launch off the canal, a 60-space parking lot, and a 20-foot-by-20-foot overlook along the Peconic River, according to plans drawn by Mr. Nieroda.

Phase two of the project, which is estimated to cost roughly $1.1 million, will expand upon those plans, adding features such as a children’s sensory garden, exercise spaces, stages for performances, lawn space, and a northeast fishing dock. The park’s main trail would also be expanded upon.

“This has been a dream for almost a decade,” Mr. Taldone said. “In the last four or five years, it’s started to sound real—and now, it’s really here.”

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We need it so badly here in Bay View Oaks.

By plee (1), north sea on Jun 24, 19 5:25 AM