It was all smiles Thursday morning as representatives from PSEG-LI, Shelter Island Town, the Heights Property Owners Corporation and Greenport Village gathered outside the North Ferry office to celebrate the successful completion of a seven-month project to install underwater electrical cables that would guarantee Shelter Island reliable electricity to meet peak demands during summer months.
“Enjoy your power,” said a jovial Greenport Mayor George Hubbard Jr., who owns a vehicle repair shop on Shelter Island.
He said it took some effort to get Greenport residents onboard after a previous project conducted by Long Island Power Authority contractor Bortech couldn’t be completed in 2013. But he noted social media posts on a page operated by Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips had residents of Fourth and Sixth streets in the village saying they wish the project had been done where they live instead because Fifth Street now looks better than it has in 30 years.
The $1.3 million payment PSEG-LI provided Greenport will still benefit other parts of the village with infrastructure improvements. The village received a $30,000 easement fee and an overhead circuit reinforcement for the Greenport Electric Company that will enable it to more quickly get back online in case of a power outage.
Shelter Island Supervisor Gary Gerth said it has been a pleasure interacting with Greenport, the Heights Property Owners Corporation (HPOC) and PSEG-LI and seeing it come to a successful and timely conclusion.
“The town of Shelter Island gratefully appreciates PSEG Long Island’s hard work, seamless construction and ensuring a continued reliable power supply to meet the growing demands,” Mr. Gerth said.
For Shelter Island residents, the cable means reliable power.
“It was a simple need but not a simple solution,” HPOC General Manager Stella Lagudis said.
She thanked Greenport residents for cooperating with the project and also praised Shelter Island Police, Fire and EMT units and the Highway Department for their cooperation in helping to plan and carry out traffic control and other needs that kept vehicles moving relatively smoothly between North Ferry and the roads in the Heights.
“It was a flawless execution,” and it couldn’t have been done without the collaboration of Greenport, Ms. Lagudis said.
“They say it takes a village,” but this project “took a village, a town and everyone in between,” she said.
PSEG-LI officials promised the job would be done by mid-May so that it could be completed before Memorial Day and the inscription on plaques given to Mr. Gerth, Mr. Hubbard, Ms. Lagudis and Project Manager Manny Lilimpakis bore the completion date of May 14, 2018.
Prior to Superstorm Sandy, Shelter Island had three distribution feeders providing power to the Island. One comes from the South Fork, but lacks the ability to provide enough power for the entire town. The other two were from the North Fork and one suffered damage from the storm and failed. The newly installed feeder line replaces the cable lost during Sandy and will provide back-up should it be needed.
Photo caption: (from left) Shelter Island Supervisor Gary Gerth, Greenport Mayor George Hubbard Jr., Project Manager Manny Lilimpakis and Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis who each received a plaque representing the under-water cabling that now stretches from Shelter Island to Greenport. (Credit: Julie Lane)