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PSEG hires ombudsman to address underwater cable project concerns

Staging for the electrical cabling that will serve Shelter Island got underway in Greenport Wednesday morning, with drilling on the project expected to begin there Monday.

Greenport Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said drilling won’t be allowed to start unless an Office of General Services Permit is finalized.

But PSEG communications director Jeffrey Weir said that permit is pending and awaiting the utility company’s payment, which should happen within a day or two.

He also said that permit affects only under water drilling that wouldn’t be scheduled for at least two weeks.

All permits are in place, Shelter Island Supervisor Jim Dougherty said, quoting conversations he had Tuesday with PSEG officials and Stella Lagudis, general manager of the Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation.

Staging was to be done at the southern end of Fifth Street in Greenport and at the North Ferry parking lot on Shelter Island, Mr. Dougherty said.

A full-time ombudsman is being assigned to answer questions and address the concerns of residents in either location. In addition, Ms. Lagudis said, letters were being sent to Heights residents in the areas of Chase Avenue and Summerfield Place and other areas that could be affected by the work containing information about how to reach the ombudsman.

PSEG has pledged to complete the project by mid-May 2018, in advance of the Memorial Day weekend.

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Photo: Workers at Fifth Street in Greenport Wednesday. (Credit: Julie Lane)