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Asharoken dune restoration plan to be discussed Wednesday

Private beaches along Asharoken Avenue in the Village

Private beaches along Asharoken Avenue in the Village of Asharoken on July 6, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

Asharoken residents will have an opportunity Wednesday night to hear the village’s coastal engineer provide analysis on the Army Corps of Engineer’s tentative dune restoration plan, which would require some residents to allow public access to their privately owned beach-front property.

The village has hired a coastal engineer from Westhampton Beach-based First Coastal Corp. to review the draft feasibility report as officials weigh whether to support a tentative plan to put an initial 600,000 cubic yards of sand along the most vulnerable 2.4 miles of shoreline.

The proposal would also add another 80,000 cubic yards of sand about every five years, with a total projected cost of $57.8 million.

Many residents have said they don’t want to give up the privacy of their waterfront property, but federal law requires public access when the Corps uses taxpayer money to restore or improve it.

Corps officials have said the proposed funding is a one-time opportunity to protect the North Shore isthmus in the next major storm.

The Corps released its draft plan in early December.

Officials and many residents have said Asharoken Avenue — the main road that runs through the village and is the sole land evacuation route for residents of Eatons Neck — is potentially at risk when a big storm hits without the dune restoration.

The protection of that road, local officials and residents argue, is enough of a public benefit to merit funding the project without requiring residents to give up their private beaches.

The presentation will be held at a meeting of the village board of trustees at the Northport Power Plant, 301 Waterside Rd. Residents who wish to attend the meeting must provide a photo ID for entry.

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