Asharoken residents have until Monday to respond to a village survey that will be one of the key factors local officials use when deciding whether to reject a multimillion-dollar U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to restore the community’s beach dunes.
Mayor Greg Letica has said village trustees will make a final decision on the more than $20 million proposal based on the results of the community survey and comments they receive at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 4 at the National Grid Power Plant in Northport.
A controversial Army Corps requirement would force many residents to allow public access to their private property in order for Asharoken to receive federal funding.
The project is a public safety issue, because the North Shore village sits on a long, narrow landmass vulnerable in major storm events. Building up the dunes would protect its main road — Asharoken Avenue — the sole land evacuation route for many, including 1,400 people living in Eatons Neck, part of Huntington Town.
Residents and village officials have also expressed concerns over local costs of the project. Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone has refused to contribute funds, despite its direct affect on town residents.
The village of about 650 residents has an annual budget of just over $2 million. Asharoken’s initial cost share would be between $2.3 million and $2.5 million — that doesn’t include mandatory maintenance costs over the next 50 years.
Village officials expect to make survey results public next Thursday.