Lindenhurst Village marina fully reopens for first time since superstorm Sandy

A boat sits in a slip at the A boat sits in a slip at the Charles Cowan Marina in Lindenhurst, May 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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The Lindenhurst Village marina opened last week for the first time since superstorm Sandy damaged the structure in 2012.

The Charles J. Cowan Marina, on the southern tip of Wellwood Avenue, has undergone repairs since the October 2012 storm. The marina was first damaged by tropical storm Irene in 2011 and workers had just finished making repairs when Sandy hit.

Last spring the marina's boardwalk was opened for walking, fishing and crabbing, but boats were not able to dock at any of the 42 boat slips for the entire season.

"It's terrific," said Peggy Allar, 45, of the reopening. "A lot of the community goes down there to crab with their families and boat with their families. It's a big part of Lindenhurst."

Sandy did not damage the parts of the marina repaired from Irene, such as the eastern side of the boardwalk, but damaged the electrical system, said village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane.

Although the marina is operational, the village is still attending to some ancillary fixes, Cullinane said, and boaters will not have immediate access to electricity. The village is waiting for PSEG Long Island to replace a transformer, he said. Once this is done there will be temporary electricity supplied, he said, but eventually the village will have to elevate the electrical panels, which will require rebuilding part of the interior of the marina building.

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"It's a well-used facility," Cullinane said. "Our goal has been to get it open as soon as we could and get the public back in there using it."

The village has spent $1.1 million on the repairs so far, Cullinane said, and it is anticipated that the electrical panel work will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Village officials hope that insurance and Federal Emergency Management Agency funds will pay most of the costs, but are still negotiating with their insurance company on a final payout figure, Cullinane said. Of the $457,000 in damage from Irene, insurance covered $400,000, Cullinane said, with FEMA paying the remainder.

"There are probably going to be some expenses that the village will have to absorb, but I don't know what that number is at this point," he said. "I'm not anticipating a large number, but this is a process."

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Boaters said they had to pay almost double to store their boats at private marinas last year. Residents pay between $770 and $1,232 for a slip at the village marina for the season, nonresidents from $1,001 to $1,601.

Kevin Smith, 46, who has had a boat slip at the village marina for the past several years, said it will be "a pleasure to be back."

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