New York State awarded the City of Long Beach two grants totaling more than $262,000 for infrastructure-related projects, as part of more than 800 grants given out statewide.
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The Department of State awarded a $75,000 grant to update the city’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP), and the Energy Research and Development Authority gave the city a $187,500 grant to update its post-Hurricane Sandy Comprehensive Plan, according to an announcement posted on the city’s website.
The grants were awarded through the city’s participation in the Regional Economic Development Council, which are designed to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions, according to the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Dec. 12 that $715.9 million would be given out statewide through the regional councils, including $3.6 million grant allocated to build an automated wholesale grocery warehouse in Suffolk County and $1.3 million grant to Riverhead to help upgrade a sewage treatment plant, according to Newsday.
City Council President Scott Mandel said Long Beach applied for the grants several months ago, as the city had to revise its planning documents after Sandy and seek ways to “significantly improve” its infrastructure and build “a more sustainable Long Beach.”
“The funds for updating our comprehensive plan will assist us in terms of resilience as we continue to rebuild stronger, smarter, and safer,” Mandel said in a statement.
Addressing the city’s waterfront revitalization plan, Council Vice President Fran Adelson said the city can now conduct an economic analysis study for redevelopment of Long Beach’s bay side and other sections of town.
“The study will assist us in better understanding the bay side's potential with the help of expert advice,” said stated, noting that the city would invite the community’s input on this process.
In comments about the announcement, which the city also posted on its Facebook page, Megan Girardi O’Donnell wrote: “I hope that for the local waterfront revitalization plan the administration also reaches out to Imagine Long Beach in addition to the ‘expert advice.’”
Other commenters also suggested the city join with the local post-Sandy initiative, Imagine Long Beach, which, according to the group’s website, is “a place for people to share their dreams on how to rebuild our city: better, stronger and more vibrant.”
“Imagine Long Beach is a wonderful, community based resource that the city should be utilizing when approaching historic plans for waterfront revitalization and redevelopment,” wrote Jessie Fahy Farrell.
Elizabeth Treston, who was a candidate in the election for Long Beach Board of Education last spring, wrote:
“As we've seen studies before and blew it. Information is there. Don't waste funding on a fancy slideshow telling us what is already on paper from prior studies. Grant money is specifically used for the projects. They're hard to get so kudos to the grant writer. Get it done. Imagine.”