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Oyster Bay to overhaul Tappen Beach Marina after fire, dock deterioration

Boat owner David Craft, of Sea Cliff, left,

Boat owner David Craft, of Sea Cliff, left, prepares to hook up a generator to power his boat as fellow boat owners Steve Dunn, of Sea Cliff, and Dino Tsoukalas, of Hicksville, look on at the Town of Oyster Bay Tappen Beach Marina in Glenwood Landing on May 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The Town of Oyster Bay is moving to overhaul the Tappen Beach Marina, where the docks have deteriorated and the wiring caused a fire in February.

Boat owners, frustrated by the dock's conditions, said they are pleased with the promise of improvements but still upset over the lack of electricity on most of the docks since the town shut it off for safety reasons last month.

"There are rotten boards on the docks and the water faucets leak, but the main thing is the electric," said Tom Cilmi of Bethpage, owner of a 29-foot fishing boat. "The electric takes care of my refrigerator, recharging my batteries. So right now I'm not using the boat that much because I can't take a chance running the batteries down."

Town Deputy Supervisor Leonard Genova said temporary electrical repairs would begin this week. He said all 61 owners in the 272-slip marina who had paid for electrical power for their boats this season should have it back in about a month.

The town board is to vote Tuesday to refund the fees paid by those 61 boaters for electric service for the entire season to compensate for the inconvenience.

As for the old docks with their spongy, uneven and splintering planking, Genova said, "We're going to be doing a complete renovation of the marina" in 2015 and 2016. It's difficult to do in one year without disrupting the boaters." The temporary wiring will be replaced at the same time.

David Craft of Sea Cliff, who has kept a boat in the marina since it opened 38 years ago and formed an association of owners, said he has been using a gasoline generator on the dock to keep his batteries charged and run the bilge pump and appliances. After a town representative called him Friday to outline the plans, he said, "I like everything they told me. Something's happening."

Deputy Public Works Commissioner Leslie Maccarone said contractors and town employees were scheduled to start work Monday on temporary electrical repairs to docks A, B, E, F, L and K to accommodate the 61 boaters who paid for electric service. Four docks -- C, D, P and R, where only 11 boat owners paid for electric -- will not be repaired.

"Those people are going to be relocated" to one of the six repaired docks, she said.

The S dock, where 13 owners have paid for electrical service, was reconstructed about three years ago and has not lost power.

The cost for the temporary electrical repairs will be $75,000 to $80,000, Genova said. The cost of the dock replacement is not available yet.

Dino Tsoukalas of Hicksville, president of the Boat Owners at Tappen group formed by Craft, said "the town collects over four hundred thousand dollars in rent here" from the boaters but has failed to properly maintain the facility. But after being briefed by the town on the plans in advance of meeting with the owners this week, he said "I'm happy. It's acceptable."

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