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Town of Islip to consider $19.9M Fire Island sand project

Ocean Parkway, several miles west of Gilgo State

Ocean Parkway, several miles west of Gilgo State Park, where workers created a berm to protect the road after superstorm Sandy. (Nov. 20, 2012) Credit: Doug Kuntz

The Islip Town board Tuesday set a date for a public hearing to consider a $19.9 million sand replenishment project for beaches in the town’s portion of Fire Island.

Fire Island beach replenishment usually occurs every two years, said Janessa Trotto, an attorney for the Town of Islip, and the need is greater this year after superstorm Sandy battered the barrier island.

The towns of Islip and Brookhaven as well as the villages of Saltaire and Ocean Beach are collaborating on the islandwide project, and are going through the bidding process to find one company to do an environmental assessment of the beaches and another company to replenish the beaches, should sand replenishment be deemed necessary.

In Islip’s portion of Fire Island, the project would be paid for by the beach erosion districts of Kismet, Fair Harbor, Dunewood, Atlantique, Lonelyville, Corneille Estates/Summer Club and Seaview. While Ocean Beach and Saltaire are in Islip, both are villages, and they would pay for their own portions of the project.

Since Islip collects taxes for the seven beach erosion districts, the town would float a five-year bond for the project, Trotto said, so Fire Island taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for the money upfront.

Trotto said the only way mainland Islip property owners would end up paying any project costs through their taxes would be if an environmental assessment determined that a town beach or other town property on Fire Island — such as town-operated Atlantique Beach — needed work.

The public hearing will be held at the next regular meeting of the town board, on Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. at Islip Town Hall, 655 Main St.

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