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GOP lawmaker: Maragos caused 'unnecessary delays' in West Shore Road project

A school bus passes a Sandy-damaged section of

A school bus passes a Sandy-damaged section of seawall along the southern portion of West Shore Road in Mill Neck Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Credit: Barry Sloan

A Republican Nassau County legislator yesterday accused GOP county Comptroller George Maragos of causing "unnecessary delays" to a project to rebuild West Shore Road in Mill Neck, which was battered by superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Legis. Donald MacKenzie (R-Oyster Bay) issued a news release blaming Maragos' lengthy review of the contract with A.L.A.C. Contracting Corp. of West Babylon for slowing down work and preventing the company from yet being paid.

"Residents that need daily access to this road should not be burdened by delays caused by back-office paperwork problems," MacKenzie said.

A.L.A.C. spokesman T.J. Moore added Maragos' "interference in the contract process has resulted in the loss of several weeks of productivity, exhaustion of the corporation's line of credit, tens of thousands of dollars in interest expenses and, worst of all, temporarily laying off a dozen men."

Comptroller spokesman Jostyn Hernandez responded yesterday that the "office did not delay the contract in any way."

Newsday reported Monday that A.L.A.C., which has a $9.5 million contract for the second phase of West Shore Road reconstruction, hasn't been paid for its work to date. The agreement awaits final approval, although the county legislature signed off on it six months ago.

The county's fiscal control board, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which must issue final approval, didn't get the contract from Maragos in time for either of its last two meetings: Nov. 24 and Jan. 14.

Hernandez said the comptroller's office missed the deadline for the Nov. 24 meeting because it had requested the contract back to "double check" some details. He blamed "miscommunication" for NIFA then not receiving the contract before its Jan. 24 meeting. NIFA will consider it on March 23.

The county first said West Shore Road would be closed from November through March. Officials now say it will be closed through early May. MacKenzie pledged that the work would be completed on schedule with the new timeline.

Remaining work includes a new seawall, drainage and underground utilities. A.L.A.C. completed the project's first-phase work ahead of schedule.

One of A.L.A.C.'s principals is Anthony Labriola, whose brother, Steven Labriola, is Maragos' top deputy comptroller.

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