The Harbor Project
I was in the Pines last Thursday meeting with the contractor, Chesterfield, with Ken Stein of Sayville Ferry, and Rob Maag, the Town official in charge of the harbor rebuilding. The reconstruction of the harbor is not complete. Chesterfield has had a crew in the community almost every day this winter, but it is a very large project. Although returning residents will see substantial progress, about another month will be needed. We have pressed the contractor for an earlier date, but they are unable to commit. They have promised to work at maximum effort during the next weeks to complete the passenger ferry pier and the central part of the plaza as soon as possible.
Temporary Ferry Dock
Beginning Friday March 31, the temporary ferry docking location will be in front of the grocery store. Mark and Eric Schrader, owners of the Pantry, have generously made this location available for landing as a service to the residents of the Pines. This is enormously helpful to FIPPOA and the community because this site provides more space and is lighted. To have a smooth flow of passengers, those coming to the Pines are asked to disembark, proceed south and use the ramp between the Pavilion and the Canteen to access the community. Residents going to Sayville are asked to approach from the north using Pickety Ruff and Bay Walk to access the ferry. We are also seeking to have the walkway in front of the Pavilion finished at an earlier date to allow direct access from the harbor to the roadway.
In the meanwhile, residents coming on Fridays are asked to limit the amount of luggage because of the limited space at the Pantry dock. Please be advised that only 2 carry-ons will be allowed. FEDEX and UPS packages must be picked up on the Sayville Ferry side on Fridays and Saturdays. Anyone with additional or large freight must make arrangements for delivery on an off-peak Sunday through Thursday boat or use Beachcomber Freight. Mark and Eric have offered to let people waiting for the ferry use the deck on the north side of the Pantry (where fruits and vegetables are located in the summer time) as the covering in this area will also supply some shelter if it is raining. Needless to say, we are requesting everyone's cooperation until the Harbor Project is complete.
The Boulevard Project
The Boulevard Project to provide enclosed work areas for the contractors is nearing completion of Phase II. Walter Boss's enclosure is finished on the east side of the harbor, and the enclosures on the west side of the harbor are nearing completion. Rich Coyne, the contractor, is awaiting better weather to pour concrete for the posts that will support the gates, at which point he can button up that construction. FIPPOA and Scott Ahlborn, head of the Pines Conservation Society, are planning extensive landscaping for the enclosures. Our goal is that the enclosures, once completed, will blend into the greenway along the roadway to the greatest extend possible.
The Trap Bags & the Beach
The last project that FIPPOA has underway is the repair/replacement of the trap bags on the beach. For a relatively small budget ($50,000) this is a very complex task, involving a number of government agencies, each with its own peculiar procedures. It appears that we have resolved most of the stumbling blocks and the project will happen early in April. The one remaining issue is the need to obtain a delay on the beach driving ban which relates to the nesting of the piping plovers. Officially this begins April 1, but we are hoping that the start be pushed back sufficiently to allow the trap bag repair to happen. We have not received this last approval, but we do anticipate getting it. Many thanks to the Seashore Defense Fund and its Director, Russell Saray, for all their help.
The Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society has been working hard on our history. Their website
is growing and filled with a rich archive of just what makes the Pines a special place,
and part of gay history. Please take a look.
I wish everybody a happy 2017 season!