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Bellport Mayor Ray Fell seeks road, dock and beach upgrades

A recently completed gazebo at the end of

A recently completed gazebo at the end of Bellport Avenue at Bellport dock includes a path and a finished bulkhead on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

As he makes plans for the future, Bellport Mayor Ray Fell wants the bulkheading at the village dock rebuilt, upkeep at the public beach improved, and over the next decade every village street repaved.

Those are among a list of projects the mayor and village officials would like to see happen in coming years. The bulkhead project carries an estimated cost of up to $5 million, and Fell said the village would seek state grants to offset the costs of some of the projects.

“We’re going to look for other grants to help us with this, and this is the beginning of what is looking like a three to five-year project,” Fell said in a recent interview about the dock project.

Included on the wish list of projects: improvement of village drains, particularly those that flow into the Great South Bay; construction of lockers at the public Ho Hum beach, along with replacing of showers and improvements to the boardwalk.

As for the village dock improvements, Fell said, “Our plan is to build it a little bit higher than what it is now and to help mitigate any storm damage that may occur during the course of a major storm.”

Bellport plans to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance in repairing the 77-year-old dock, which sustained significant damage during superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Village deputy Mayor Leslie O’Connor said she supports the project.

“The only real permanent solution is to raise the level of the paved areas at the dock,” she said, adding that high tides have eroded the roadways and bulkheads in recent years.

As the year moves forward, Fell said, the village is developing a project to repave all roads.

“We have roads in the village that are in desperate need of repair,” he said, adding the worst roads would be repaired first.

The highway department has already began prioritizing roads for the estimated $1 million project, officials said.

“It’s good to have a plan. It can always be adjusted. I’m all in favor of having regular repair work,” O’Connor said.

Meanwhile, the village has applied for two state grants totaling $800,000 to remediate drains.

Village officials said the move was part of a state mandate requiring municipalities to come up with a stormwater management plan to keep bodies of water clean.

Of the 80 storm drains the village maintains, officials said, eight leak directly into Bellport Bay, including one at the highway department that seeps oil, salt and other contaminants into the bay.

“We are hoping to get one or both grants approved by the state,” Fell said.

Bellport maintains a surplus of $650,000 to help offset the cost of any project. Fell said he wants to build off of recent success, which includes paying off an $825,000 bond anticipation note used to repair the village golf course, which was also impacted by Sandy.

Last March, the village borrowed $650,000 to repair the pavilion at Ho-Hum Beach along with the gazebo and marina at Osborn Park. The village expects to be reimbursed by FEMA this year for that work.

Rounding out the wish list, officials said the village needs a new garbage and dump truck for the highway department.

“I don’t know if we’ll get all these, but they’re on the list,” Fell said.

In the plans

Bellport Village officials have ideas for the future that include:

  • A $5 million project to rebuild the bulkheading at the village dock.
  • The repaving of all village streets, beginning with the worst, over the next decade.
  • Improvements at village-owned Ho Hum Beach.
  • Improvements to village drains to better protect Bellport Bay.


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