Mascot Dock at the end of South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue Village is about to get a much-needed facelift after much of the dock’s boardwalks and benches were badly damaged or completed washed away in a one-two punch from storms Irene and Sandy.
Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri said the village had been holding off on making any major repairs, because then the village would be at risk of not being reimbursed from the federal government.
Patchogue finally got word last month it would be getting $1.4 million through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Pontieri said he expects work to start sometime in the spring and take about six weeks.
He said the work will include new lighting, electric, boardwalk repairs, and new benches, among other items.
“We’ll have to make some decision with the plan on whether we’ll add some things in addition” to what’s been planned and funded by FEMA, he said.
“This is mitigation plan,” Pontieri added. “This work will be done in a way so if there is another storm of Sandy’s magnitude, yeah, we’ll have some damage, but not the tune of $1.4 million.”
When asked what took so long, Pontieri said getting the dock repaired was never of chief concern, on any level.
“We’re all dealing with people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods,” he said. “Our recreational dock is not our top priority, and probably not FEMA’s either. If you think about it, it makes sense that it took this long. But I wasn’t going to gamble with residents’ money that FEMA would reimburse us.”
“If you repair damager prior to getting your approval from FEMA, 9 out of times out of 10 times they won’t reimburse you,” he said. “But we were able to get some fill donated and level it out over there and make it safe.”
He also noted next spring’s work at Mascot Dock will likely coincide with the rebuilding of the jetty at the mouth of Patchogue River, using $600,000 from the state, $300,000 from the town and $100,00 from the village.
Pontieri envisions building a lighthouse-like structure and fishing dock at the end of the jetty.
“Hopefully we can get that done with the money we have,” he said.