June 12, 2015 03:23 PM

The Suffolk County Water Authority has been awarded $22.5 million in a combination grant/zero-interest loan under the New York State Storm Mitigation Loan Program to bolster infrastructure and emergency power systems.

The Authority will use a portion of the funds to replace undersized water main with larger water main in areas either prone to storm impacts or serving critical facilities. The water main projects are in Huntington, Sag Harbor, North Haven and the Fire Island community of Cherry Grove. Funds will also finance new generators throughout the Authority’s service territory to enhance the Authority’s resilience during emergency situations. Throughout Super Storm Sandy and its aftermath in 2013, the Authority maintained an uninterrupted water supply to nearly all of its customers, even during widespread power outages.

"We’re very proud of our emergency preparation, but we also realize that when it comes to ensuring a constant and reliable water supply to Suffolk residents, we need to take advantage of every opportunity available to bolster our infrastructure," said SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo. "For that reason, we’re grateful to receive approval for the state assistance."

A total of 25% of the allocation is a grant from the state, while 75% of the allocation will be a zero-interest loan.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.

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