Erosion meeting set for Feb. 16

Southold Town has been trying for more than a month to hold an informational session at Town Hall on erosion problems caused by this winter’s many storms, but stormy weather canceled the session planned for last Wednesday.

The meeting, slated to include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suffolk County Department of Public Works and County Legislator Ed Romaine, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m. at the Southold Town Recreation Center on Peconic Lane.

In the meantime, the town is considering its options for repairing damage done by the fierce post-Christmas blizzard to the parking lot and beach at Town Beach on Long Island Sound in Southold.

That storm scoured a steep cliff into the formerly gentle slope of the beach and undercut the asphalt parking lot, which is crumbling into the beach.

Various proposals for Town Beach and potential fixes for the stretch of Soundfront beach along Hashamomuck Cove will be on the agenda at next Wednesday’s session.

Town director of public works Jamie Richter told the Southold Town Board at a work session last Tuesday that the best way to stabilize the parking lot would be to build a revetment of some kind at the new edge of the asphalt before replenishing the beach.
But Mr. Richter said it might be hard to get permits in time to finish the work before the summer. Unless the Federal Emergency Management Agency pays back the town for storm costs, the project may prove too costly as well, he added.

“Town Beach is a very popular beach. In four months, people are going to want to use it,” said Councilman Vincent Orlando said during the work session.

Supervisor Scott Russell said he doubted that New York State met the $25 million threshold to qualify for FEMA funding for the Dec. 26 blizzard, though Suffolk County met FEMA’s threshold of $4 million. But unless the state threshold is also met, he said, FEMA will not pay out for claims here.

Mr. Russell said that the town had been offered 30,000 cubic yards of dredged sand from Orient Beach State Park, which could be used to restore Town Beach before the summer season.

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