Gil Anderson, the Suffolk County Lead on the FIMI project, attended the FIA meeting this week. He reported the project is moving ahead but more slowly than had been indicated.
Phase I Smith Point County Park
The contractor is to return in September after the beach season to complete the project.
Phase II - The FI Light House
There is some uncertainty here as to when the contractor will return due to equipment availability.
Phase III A - Communities east of the Light House up to approximately Kismet
The county expects to complete all real estate work including surveys, appraisals, easements and condemnations by mid fall with construction starting late fall.
Phase III B - The Rest of the communities including the Pines
The surveys have been completed and have been or will be mailed community by community shortly. The remaining real estate work will then get underway with the goal of completion by the end of the year. House relocations and other work should begin in the winter/ spring of 2016. Construction in this phase would begin in the fall of 2016 at the earliest. There is the possibility that the Phase III B will be divided further with a Phase III C. Construction on Phase III could begin east or west, or possibly on both ends if equipment permitted.
We have repeatedly asked both the County and the Army Corps for confirmation that the impact in the Pines will be consistent with what was predicted in their initial mapping, but they have been unable to answer until they have analyzed all the surveys within the community. We are working very closely with County staff to assure minimum impact on Pines homeowners.
Chris Soller also attended the meeting. He described the project in impressive terms. The new dune is 15 feet high, 25 feet wide on the slope on the north (landward) side, 25 feet across the top, or the crest, and 25 feet down on the south (ocean) side. A nine foot high berm then extends 90 feet toward the ocean. Chris also said that there is the possibility that construction in the far western communities would extend up to beach season because there is little or no piping plover nesting in this area. This would not be true of the eastern communities like the Pines where there is piping plover activity.
Maureen Schrader will serve as the Nominating Chairwoman for the 2015 FIPPOA election. Anyone wishing to run for the FIPPOA Board should contact Maureen at 631-334-6079 or by email at email@example.com. Many thanks to Maureen, longtime Pines resident, for volunteering for this important assignment.
Friday's Supreme Court decision on marriage equality is a victory for all Americans, who believe in the principles underlying the Declaration of Independence, that all people are created equal. It has special meaning to those of us who are residents of Fire Island Pines.
I first came to the Pines in 1975 and it was like paradise because I could walk holding hands with my partner and not have to hide my affection for him. The Invasion of the Pines that we celebrate this weekend began when drag queens demanded equal treatment at the bars in the Pines and got it.
The Pines was one of the few places in the world where gays first dared to be out. And the groundswell of people that are now out and proud across America is a big reason why the Supreme Court decision happened last Friday. We have also been a home of many of the nation's most fearless and accomplished activists. We can be proud of the role that the Pines, one of the earliest outposts of gay pride and equality, played in achieving this historic victory. As we celebrate Independence Day this weekend following the news of last weekend, we have more reason than ever to reaffirm our pride to be Americans and our pride to be Pines residents.
You can find early pictures of the Pines on
The Fire Island Pines Historical Society website
. And a special thanks to Russell Saray and Doug Dimon for their work on the
Seashore Defense Fund website
I have been informed by the Invasion leaders that it will take place in the usual manner. The boat will be arriving around 2pm and leaving at 3:30. This is the 40th anniversary of the Invasion. It is a special occasion and the Grove has promised us quite a show.
Happy Fourth of July!