Featured Letter: An awful fate for Greenport’s LIRR dock

05/02/2014 7:00 AM |
Greenport's railroad dock (center) as seen with a Google map. (Credit: Google maps)

Greenport’s railroad dock (center) as seen with a Google map. (Credit: Google maps)

To the Editor:

Captain Smith’s letter last week about the decline of commercial fishing in Greenport, of all places, was most troubling to read.

Back in the early 1980s, when I was county legislator for the East End, I worked long and hard with Village Mayor George Hubbard and IDA admin (and later mayor himself) David Kappel to get rebuilt what was then known as the LIRR dock — a dilapidated, unused eyesore.

Endless wrestling with federal, state and county agencies (negotiations with the US Army Corps of Engineers alone was a year-long nightmare) finally succeeded with permits and funding strictly owing to the rebuilt dock’s committed purpose — to be a commercial fishing dock.

Later, in the early ‘90s, when it was my privilege to serve Greenport again as village attorney, I can attest to how strong the village’s commitment to the dock’s use as a commercial fishing facility still was.

What happened?

How shameless for whoever it was, or is, to have allowed a promising and unique economic asset to morph into a ho-hum extension of a pedestrian sidewalk!

The people and the village board of this great community have it within their power to revive the wonderful dream that underlay the dock’s original purpose.

This is a no-brainer. It means jobs, tax revenue and prosperity — a remarkable partnership between the private sector and government. All it takes is leadership. God speed to whoever assumes it.

Greg Blass, Jamesport