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Another step forward for Island to Greenport cable


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed late Wednesday that it received all necessary information to consider the application for a Tidal Wetlands Permit and a Freshwater Wetlands Permit.

The permits are necessary to the installation of a cable running between Shelter Island Heights and Greenport Village and meant to provide reliable electrical service to Shelter Island.

The DEC set Thursday, September 21, as the deadline for comments on the application before it will render its opinion. Anyone who wants to view the completed application before commenting may call John Wieland of the DEC at (631) 444 0359 to set an appointment in Stony Brook.

The project has received a negative declaration from the DEC, meaning that the state agency has determined the project poses no environmental danger.

In a written announcement about the movement on the application, Supervisor Jim Dougherty said the notice “suggests no problems on [the] horizon [regarding] approval, which conversations with my PSEG contacts reinforces.”

He extended his thanks to PSEG and the Heights Property Owners Corporation that the week before signed a contract approving the project.

PSEG Communications Director Jeffrey Weir had said then that while the utility hadn’t yet signed the contract, he thought it would do so quickly and that work on the project could get under way before the end of September.

Details of the contract with the HPOC are not yet public.

Greenport executed its agreement with PSEG in April.

If all goes smoothly, the project that will provide Shelter Island with reliable electric service should be completed by mid May 2018, just before the tourist season gets under way on Memorial Day weekend.

The Island had three cables leading from the North Fork and one from the South Fork. The South Fork cable is still intact, but isn’t capable of providing service to the entire Island. Two of the North Fork cables are no longer functional and the third is as old as the two that failed.

This is the second attempt to replacecables. In 2013, before PSEG took over management of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). LIPA used Bortech, a subcontractor, to run a cable between Crescent Beach and Southold Town, but the effort failed.

All parties have expressed optimism about the current effort being successful.

The Greenport agreement provides for PSEG to pay the village $30,000 for an easement fee and an $1.3 million as an access fee to allow the cable to run to the Fifth Street area before it connects with a substation in Southold. The utility company also agreed to install an overhead circuit reinforcement from its Southold substation to Silvermere Road, a move officials have said would make electric service in the village more reliable.

In signing the agreement in April, Greenport Mayor George Hubbard said he thought it was “a good deal” for the village.

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