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Islip board approves dock repair delayed by Sandy

Islip will begin a renovation of the Maple Avenue dock in Bay Shore to improve the Fire Island ferry hub, according to the town board.

The board voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting to pass a contract with Gibson and Cushman Contracting of Port Jefferson to begin the renovations on the aging dock, which includes replacing the bulkhead with steel, increasing the elevation, a new filtration system and some parking improvements.

The project was set to begin in late 2012, but superstorm Sandy caused delays as the town deployed its resources to damaged areas. The first phase will cost $3.2 million and is expected to begin in the next several weeks, with completion in spring 2014.

The board also voted unanimously in favor of reducing 2012/2013 town assessment values for people with residences or commercial properties that suffered at least 10 percent property damage from Sandy.

"This local option will allow property owners within the town to apply retroactively" for last year's taxes, said town Assessor Ronald Devine Jr., whose office has applications for the tax relief available at 40 Nassau Ave. in Islip.

The application is also available online at http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/cur rent_forms/orpts/rp5849app_fill_in.pdf.

Acceptable proof of damage includes FEMA reports, photographs, insurance claims and other documentation, Devine said. The law only includes refunds for the town portion of property taxes. The deadline is Jan. 21.

The board also unanimously agreed to authorize a $200,000 planning study on the feasibility of a sewage treatment plant serving the southeastern part of Islip from Blue Point to Great River, which still remains on septic systems. A sewage treatment plant would make greater density possible in the selected areas of Islip.

During the meeting's public comment portion, Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce president Donna Periconi lambasted the board for the recent unexplained firing of planning Commissioner Dave Genaway.

"You dismissed him suddenly, callously, two days after Election Day after two of you were re-elected," Periconi said, describing Genaway as an "outstanding professional who has served Islip so well." The board has declined to comment on the reasons for Genaway's dismissal. Deputy commissioner Rich Zapolski was appointed his replacement.

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