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Islip mulls creation of new Fire Island erosion-control district

Islip Town Hall in an undated photo.

Islip Town Hall in an undated photo. Credit: Erin Geismar

Residents of the Robbins Rest community on Fire Island could soon have their own erosion-control district.

The Islip Town board planned for a public hearing at Tuesday's meeting on establishing the new erosion-control district, which would be paid for by residents living in the district and would create a taxing system to help that community shore up its ocean beaches and dunes.

According to a town board resolution from September, a petition, map for the proposed area and plan for the new taxing district were filed with the town in April. “The proposed district will involve no capital costs or improvements.

The intent is to provide services aimed at beach erosion control (i.e., plantings, fencing, irrigation, etc.),” the resolution states.

“In the first year it is estimated that a maximum of $25,000 will be expended for said services and thereafter approximately $25,000, with much of the labor being provided by the residents of the proposed district at no cost.”

As is the case with other similar taxing districts on Fire Island, the Robbins Rest/Oceanview Beach Erosion Control District would be financed by a levy against all property within the district, according to the resolution, and not by all residents in the town.

Islip’s portion of Fire Island already has erosion-control districts in Kismet, Fair Harbor, Dunewood, Atlantique, Lonelyville, Corneille Estates/Summer Club and Seaview. The villages of Ocean Beach and Saltaire also have erosion-control districts, which are independent from the town.

In February, when the town voted to bond $19.9 million for beach replenishment on Fire Island after superstorm Sandy, town attorney Janessa Trotto said beach replenishment usually occurs every two years and is paid for by the districts, but bonded through the town.

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