EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A high-profile project in East Providence is facing some uncertainty after failing to secure more funding in the latest state budget.
Nearly nine months ago, federal, state and local leaders held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the South Quay Marine Terminal to kick off the first phase of the project.
The port is supposed to be transformed into an offshore wind hub where turbine pieces will be delivered, assembled, and shipped to wind sites in the Atlantic Ocean.
Gov. Dan McKee had proposed upping state funding for South Quay to $60 million, an increase of $25 million, but lawmakers removed the additional funding from the final budget bill.
“That project is still very important. We’ll just work through the details,” McKee told reporters on Monday.
The state initially allocated $35 million in federal relief money to the project, though no money has been spent yet, according to East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva.
“The money’s still there. It’s just that there’s some negotiations that are going on between the landowners and a nonprofit group that will be charged with managing the operation of this port,” DaSilva said.
However, the clock is ticking to use it.
The budget proposal, approved by the House Finance Committee last Friday, sets a deadline of next February for the project to secure other matching funds to move ahead.
Mayor DaSilva told 12 News he’s still confident the project will move forward.
“The first $35 million was really meant to be seed money that would position the landowners and the project as a more viable project to get federal dollars and federal funding,” DaSilva said.
“We also have a tax credit agreement from Commerce [RI], to the tune of about $15 million, and then there’s going to be some private investment,” he added.
The project is expected to cost well over $100 million in total.