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Asharoken Village Hall, flooded by superstorm Sandy, torn down to make way for new building

Asharoken demolishes its village hall on Monday, Dec.

Asharoken demolishes its village hall on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, more than two years after superstorm Sandy wrecked it. Photo Credit: Newsday / Valerie Bauman

The Asharoken Village Hall, flooded and damaged during superstorm Sandy, has been torn down to make way for its replacement: a 3,000-square-foot building largely paid for with donations from residents.

Demolition started last Wednesday. By Monday afternoon, nothing was left but some broken chunks of concrete and a shallow hole in the ground.

Mayor Greg Letica has made building the new Village Hall a priority during his time in office.

Asharoken was incorporated in 1925, and the first version of the hall went up in the mid-1930s, said village trustee Mel Ettinger. That structure consisted of a two-car garage and a police booth.

The first large renovation came in 1992 when it was converted into the village clerk's office and village hall that was standing until last week.

Medford-based Ravco Construction won the $924,900 contract for the teardown.

Letica, who did not respond to requests for comment Monday, has said that the village already has most of the funding needed to complete the project. The Federal Emergency Management Agency contributed $533,854, and two other government grants provided $77,000. Residents donated $298,000.

Officials at a recent village board meeting said the balance of the contract could be paid for with reserve funds.

The effort to build a new village hall has been in the works since 2006, when Ettinger proposed the project under former Mayor William Kelly. Damage from Sandy two years ago renewed the urgency. Ettinger said about a foot of standing water was found in the building after the storm, and mold became a problem soon after.

Village officials have been conducting business out of a trailer parked along Asharoken Avenue. The police department has been operating out of a trailer in the adjacent parking lot. Village meetings are held at the Northport National Grid building.

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