Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor, said on Monday that a total of $66.8 million from the New York Works project fund is being allocated to the South Fork to address coastal erosion.
Projects included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2012 budget are an $11.3 million dredging project in the Shinnecock Inlet, an $11.5 million project for beach re-nourishment in Westhampton, and Lake Montauk's erosion issues are being addressed to the tune of $34 million.
According to the governor's office, NY Works was meant to "reinvent economic development with innovative new strategy that will put New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state's infrastructure." A task force was set up to create "tens of thousands" of jobs and accelerate critical projects.
Thiele said a total of $109.3 million was allocated for six coastal erosion-control projects on Long Island. The state will invest $22.65 million and leverage the remaining $86.65 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In his district, which includes Moriches Inlet, where a $10 million dredging project will be done, the state will be investing $14.4 million, with $52.4 million coming from the Army Corps, which has been studying many of these areas for years, Thiele said.
The projects ensure navigational access, while protecting homes and businesses. "Our economy and livelihood depends on it," he said.
The erosion-control project on the north side of Montauk will include $1.9 million from the state. The town will have to kick in around $750,000, according to Kim Shaw, the of . The rest will come from the Army Corps.
Shaw said the town has to agree to the project plan, which would dredge the inlet down to 17 to 19 feet (it's currently at 14 to 15 feet). The excess materials will be placed along the shore-front to the west. Some informational meetings will be set up for as early as May. Then the project will go to the Army Corps for finalization.
"This is a big project," Thiele said by phone, "not just for the navigation for the commercial fishing fleets, but for the erosion protection it's going to provide for the folks west of the jetties who have been getting pounded for years."
For instance, into the sound.
The project's start date has not been decided yet, said Thiele, who added he doesn't expect it before the fall.
An was just completed in the inlet this past fall to make the channel navigable for commercial fishing boats.
"This investment helps ensure the safety of our communities, stands to create jobs, and will protect our cherished shorelines," Thiele said in a statement.
"For the second year in a row, New York State has passed a transformative and balanced budget that holds the line on spending, while focusing on job creation and government efficiency," Cuomo said in that statement. "The centerpiece of this budget is the New York Works program, which will help rebuild our aging infrastructure, including our dams and flood control systems, to protect people and property throughout our state."