A Fifth Street resident in Greenport wants to see the pipes and debris left behind by Verizon three years ago cleaned up before a PSEG-LI cable is potentially stretched across to Shelter Island.
What was once a pristine part of Fifth Street Beach is now “an industrial waste site,” said Chris Biemiller.
The mess stems from the work Verizon did to restore power to Shelter Island after a vandal, apparently in pursuit of copper wiring, cut the cable that knocked out telephone service for Shelter Island residents for several days. Verizon workers, putting in 12-hour shifts around the clock, were able to restore the connections, but left a large concrete structure and black pipes sticking up on the beach as well as debris from their work.
Neighbors in the area through the years have taken it upon themselves to buy and plant flowers, special grasses and bushes to beautify the area.
Mr. Biemiller described that area where the Verizon cable connects as what was once a “secret” spot for neighbors who wanted a little beach privacy.
He has been discussing his concerns with neighbors and plans to send a letter to the Village Board.
Greenport Mayor George Hubbard said while he knows the beach, he hadn’t looked to the east beyond a small red utility shack to see the debris.
“I will definitely look at it,” he said.
He plans to call Verizon officials about getting the site cleaned as he and his Village Board members continue to explore the PSEG proposal to run a cable across to Shelter Island Heights.
Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis has said that until a specific proposal is made, she wasn’t going to comment on cabling that could start somewhere in that area.
The other two proposals for providing reliable electric service to the Island have been:
• A repeat effort of running to the cables from Crescent Beach to Greenport west, outside of the Village. Southold Supervisor Scott Russell has pledged to fight any such effort that disrupted the lives of people who lived in that area during the summer of 2013.
• A substation on Shelter Island that would enable it to be independent of connections on either the North or South Forks.
Ultimately, a PSEG-LI spokesman said the utility will make its own decision about the best way to proceed, but would prefer to reach a solution that is backed by all of those affected.
Photo Credit: The Fifth Street Beach still has debris left over by Verizon. One resident wants it cleaned up before the area is considered for a PSEG-LI project to provide electric service to Shelter Island. (Credit: Julie Lane)