The Village of Lindenhurst has a new policy requiring village boat slip users to use only ladders rented from the village.
The village board said the matter is one of both safety and uniformity.
“I think it’s great as a safety measure,” said board trustee Joan Masterson, an avid boater for more than 40 years.
The new policy states that those who rent a boat slip from the village and who wish to use a dock side ladder to access their boat must use a ladder from the village.
“Any privately bought or owned ladders attached to any village bulkhead or dock shall be removed without further notice to the owner,” the policy states.
Boaters may rent a metal ladder from the village for $100 per season. The ladder will be installed by the village and removed at the end of the season. The policy goes into effect with the start of the 2016 boat dock rental season in the spring.
The village based its policy on similar ones put into place in Babylon Village and Babylon Town, Village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane said. Previously, he said, the ladders used by boaters varied in material and some have been “flimsy and poorly put in.”
“People were installing different types of ladders and they were doing it in different types of ways,” he said. “Some are wood, some are metal, some people would screw it in, some people would nail it in. . . . We were just not comfortable with what we were seeing.”
Cullinane said the village, which spent more than $1 million to fix its marina after damage from storms Irene and Sandy, also wants to create a more uniform look on its docks and protect the work that’s been done.
When the village sends out renewal notices, it will inform them of the new policy and ask whether they want a ladder.
For now, Cullinane said, the policy applies to the 46 boat slips at the marina, but the village is looking into whether the policy should be applied to Shore Road, which unlike the marina, has slips that are parallel to the dock.
Workers at local boating businesses said that while some may bristle at the fee, those that value having a sturdy ladder will be grateful.
“People want a ladder at their slip,” said Michael Winter, manager of MarineMax in Lindenhurst, which has ladders made for its 250 boats slips. “They make access a little easier and they’re safer.”