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Lawrence seeks to reopen marina by April 1

Lawrence officials say they hope the marina and clubhouse of the village-owned Lawrence Yacht and Country Club can reopen April 1 after it suffered extensive flood damage during superstorm Sandy.

The storm flooded locker rooms, damaged more than 80 golf carts, lifted marina ramps and docks out of place, and destroyed all electrical outlets in the marina, general manager Leo McMahon said.

"What we plan on doing is beautifying the club, expanding it if possible and open it up as soon as possible," Mayor Martin Oliner said at Tuesday's village board meeting, adding officials will seek reimbursement for damages from the village's insurance companies or FEMA. "Whether it is our expense or FEMA's . . . we will do the right thing."

Because of ongoing construction -- including drywall ripped out of the main clubhouse -- the club will operate temporarily out of two trailers, one for administrative staff and the other as a lounge for club members, McMahon said.

The golf course will remain open through the winter with only 10 golf carts. Membership fees, ranging from $2,000 to $7,000, will be due Jan. 15, he said.

"We're going to have a great 2013," McMahon said, adding all items destroyed will be replaced or fixed. "We're going to have a lot of new stuff."

Village trustee Michael Fragin criticized McMahon for taking five weeks to start the cleanup. But Oliner said due diligence required getting at least three quotes before awarding contracts. Oliner said demolition work cost $80,000, instead of the $350,000 initial quote.

Trustee Irving Langer said he's looking into an option to knock down the clubhouse and rebuild it. That construction could take 16 to 18 months.

The board also discussed efforts to temporarily resolve erosion issues with a dike near 60 homes in the Isle of Wight section. Oliner said the board would look into a permanent solution to fix a breach one resident said causes flooding on area roads at high tide.

"Price does play a role in what we can do," Oliner said.

The board also deferred voting on its contract with the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department for fire protection services and on an agreement that would help cover funds for a $2 million expansion to its out-of-date firehouse. Cedarhurst Village has already approved its contracts.

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