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Kings Point lighthouse renovations to include fixed pier

The Town of North Hempstead plans to build

The Town of North Hempstead plans to build a fixed pier on steel pilings with a gangway at the Stepping Stones Lighthouse in Kings Point. Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

The Town of North Hempstead has decided what type of dock it will install at Stepping Stones Lighthouse in Kings Point, which is undergoing a major renovation to reverse decades of deterioration.

Officials in the town’s public works department said Wednesday that they will likely build a fixed pier on steel pilings with a gangway, similar to the dock at Huntington Harbor Lighthouse. The decision came after an outside engineering firm spent five days testing the soil near the lighthouse.

“Building a permanent dock is the key for this project so we can have easy and safe access to the lighthouse,” Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement Wednesday. “Other repairs and renovations can begin once that dock is in place.”

In April, town leaders approved a plan to design a dock at a cost not to exceed $128,100. The town has also budgeted $520,000 in its 2017-2021 capital plan for the dock and pier construction.

Officials haven’t finalized the dock’s size and dimensions.

Bosworth said she believes the town can get all the state-required permits for dock construction before year’s end. The town wants to start building next spring.

Stepping Stones is a Victorian, Second Empire-style structure built in 1876 that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. It has a deteriorating foundation, boarded-up windows and other signs of decay and neglect. After the town took ownership of the lighthouse in 2008, the National Park Service threatened in 2012 to take it back because the town did not properly maintain it.

In 2014, the town began partnering with the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society to raise funds to renovate the lighthouse. The historical society is planning a 5-kilometer run on Sunday to help raise money for renovations.

Robert Lincoln, who chairs the lighthouse restoration committee for the historical society, said a new dock “is a significant step forward.”

“We will soon be able to halt further deterioration and move onto restoration of this precious part of our local history,” Lincoln said.

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