Town of Huntington officials are moving ahead with structural improvements to the Woodbine Marina in Northport, despite it being closed.
Officials have also approved an environmental initiative at the marina involving the town’s shellfish management plan to help maintain the health of the local marine ecosystem.
A bond for up to $1.5 million for construction improvements, including replacing the marina’s bulkhead, has been approved.
In 2020, town officials sued the contractors hired in 2011 to design and reconstruct the marina. The town’s suit alleges the work done by the contractors was so shoddy that it created dangerous, unsafe and hazardous conditions, and has cost the town money. In the lawsuit town officials cite breach of contract, negligence and misrepresentation of expertise, failures in calculations and design, among other deficiencies. The suit is seeking $1 million in damages.
The marina has been closed since late 2019.
"The improvements to the marina will further strengthen and enhance the upgrades that we have been doing to our waterfront over the last several years," Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci said.
Town officials are planning improvements to its maritime facilities across the town including new bathrooms, a visitor center, and transient docks at either the Halesite or Mill Dam marinas. Over the winter some of the town’s beaches got a refresh including new equipment.
The $1.5 million resolution for Woodbine Marina was previously offered in February but failed.
Town board member Joan Cergol sponsored the May 11 bonding resolution that was approved 5-0. She said on Monday that she voted against the February measure because there were a lot of bond resolutions to consider on that agenda.
"I understand that Woodbine is an important town property and project that we have to pursue but I just wanted to put that off," Cergol said "After that time I visited the marina and I saw the sinkhole and looked at the floating docks and I realized we had to act; timing is everything."
Environmental improvements are also going on at the marina. The town board approved an intermunicipal agreement with the Village of Northport to use the marina to operate an oyster FLUPSY program, from June 1 until Sept. 30.
"It will restore and enhance the local shellfish populations through hatchery production," Lupinacci said.
A floating upweller system, or FLUPSY, is a floating nursery used to culture seed shellfish.