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Asharoken sets public hearing on beach restoration project

The dune along Asharoken Avenue is seen on

The dune along Asharoken Avenue is seen on Oct. 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Asharoken has scheduled a public hearing Jan. 4 to give residents a final chance to voice their opinions on a beach restoration project that would bring millions in federal funds to the village but require many property owners to allow public access on their private land.

The hearing is at 6:30 p.m. at the Northport National Grid power plant, 301 Waterside Ave. Photo identification is required to enter the facility.

The $20 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project has divided the North Shore village, which sits on a long, narrow land mass that is vulnerable in major storms. Its main road — Asharoken Avenue — is the sole land evacuation route for many residents and about 1,400 people living in Eatons Neck.

Cost has also been a concern among residents, as the village’s initial share of about $2.3 million would be borne by roughly 650 taxpayers. Asharoken’s annual budget is just over $2 million.

The Army Corps told state officials earlier this month that the federal agency is shelving the project because the village wouldn’t agree to a number of requirements, including public access. But federal officials have said the project could be resurrected if state and village officials submit a letter of support in January stating they agree to the federal agency’s conditions.

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