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Long IslandSuffolk

Babylon Town to vote on $500G bond to restore two beaches eroded by nor'easters

The sand at Overlook and Cedar beaches is "precariously low,"  town spokesman said, so officials will use sand dredged from the Fire Island inlet for replenishment.

The Town of Babylon will hold a special meeting Wednesday to vote on bonding for $500,000 to replenish two beaches eroded by a spate of nor'easters.

Storms during the past few years have chipped away at the sand at Overlook and Cedar beaches, town spokesman Kevin Bonner said, and the sand there has become “precariously low.”

The town will be “piggybacking” on the efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in the area to dredge the Fire Island inlet, Bonner said. When the Army Corps completes the dredging, the town will hire its contractor to dredge an additional area and use that sand for the beaches, said Brian Zitani, the town's Waterways Management supervisor.

“We have to be opportunistic on this,” Zitani said. “So when they’re in the area we have to say 'OK, we’re willing to fund the project and this is what we want to do.' ”

The town plans to bond $500,000 for the project, Bonner said. While the cost is never budgeted, Town Comptroller Victoria Marotta knows the erosion and Army Corps’ projects occur about every four to five years and keeps the cost “in mind,” Bonner said. He said the bonding should not set back the town’s goals to retire more debt than it takes on each year.

Zitani said town officials have for two years sought to team up on an Army Corps’ dredging project but only learned of their next project four weeks ago. The Army Corps’ bid for a contractor should be completed within a month, Zitani said, and only at that point will the town know what the cost will be per cubic yard.

The town last took this approach to sand replenishment in 2014, when it got 50,000 cubic yards at a cost of $451,914 for Overlook Beach after damage in 2012 from superstorm Sandy. That expense also was bonded for, Bonner said.

The punch of storms since then has eaten away at Overlook, Zitani said, and the beach is now 200 feet shorter than it was at the completion of the last replenishment.

The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 200 E. Sunrise Hwy. in Lindenhurst.

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