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Highlands

A fire broke out early on Memorial Day on Leeward Court, in the Highlands condominiums in uptown Port Jefferson.

The Port Jefferson Fire Department and Port Jefferson Village fire marshal were on the scene of the blaze in the early hours of the morning.

A new sidewalk runs along Highlands Boulevard in upper Port Jefferson. Photo by Elana Glowatz

They blazed the path and now they’re going to light the way.

With a new sidewalk already paved along Highlands Boulevard, keeping pedestrians out of the road, Port Jefferson officials are now working on installing streetlights on the route.

A new sidewalk runs along Highlands Boulevard in upper Port Jefferson. Photo by Elana Glowatz
A new sidewalk runs along Highlands Boulevard in upper Port Jefferson. Photo by Elana Glowatz

The village board of trustees on Monday approved spending $28,000 for Flushing-based Welsbach Electric Corp. to put in eight decorative streetlight poles and light fixtures along the winding sidewalk, between the entrance to the Highlands condominiums and Oakland Avenue in uptown Port Jefferson.

That dollar figure is higher than an original $17,000 cost approved in August. Mayor Margot Garant explained at Monday’s board meeting that the village needs more lighting than initially expected.

“We had originally contemplated putting three Dickens lanterns in,” she told the trustees, referring to the antique-style streetlights the village uses. But the “village lanterns are not known for their best illumination. So if we were to light [it] properly, it would need one Dickens lantern every 50 feet.”

However, the bumped-up expense, which will come out of the village’s surplus if the public works department budget cannot cover it, does not represent the entire lighting cost for the stretch of sidewalk. That price tag would have been “more than we have in the budget,” Trustee Larry LaPointe said.

Instead the village will put in the eight streetlights, 150 feet apart, according to Garant. “Just to give it some light at this point in time, and then we can fill in as we continue to go.”

The streetlights will use LED bulbs.

The new roughly 0.2-mile sidewalk on Highlands Boulevard has been in the works for a while, with the idea first coming up a few years ago, when residents coordinated an effort to petition the government to preserve the village-owned grassy area along the road. It was discussed as a safety issue because pedestrians had to walk in the street to get from the condos to the uptown business district.

Board members approved a parkland designation for the 6-acre grassy parcel earlier this year, a move that limits the land’s future use or development. Village officials have discussed the possibility of adding benches or walking paths there, but have expressed a desire to keep the park’s use passive.

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Port Jefferson’s upcoming paving project is fit for a president

There are some patches of rough road in the presidential section of Port Jefferson Village. Photo by Elana Glowatz

A contractor is hitting the pavement to smooth out some Port Jefferson roads.

The village board of trustees last week approved paving projects on the presidential streets, off of Old Post Road, and at the Riviera condos in the Harbor Hills section, between Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai harbors. In total, the projects will cost just shy of $360,000, with about two-thirds of that figure financing the roads named after former U.S. presidents — Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt avenues and Wilson Drive — as well as the adjacent Rustic Road. The other third will cover Lookout Ridge Drive, Sawtooth Cove, Rockledge Path and Laurel Crescent.

Medford-based Suffolk Asphalt Corp. will handle both those neighborhood projects. More than half of the cost to Suffolk Asphalt will come out of surplus money left over from the 2014-15 village budget, village officials said.

Of all the roads in the village that needed work, Mayor Margot Garant said during the Aug. 3 board meeting, “The presidential section was in the most need of repair, so they were approved first,” followed by the Riviera section.

As for smaller side streets that need to be repaved, officials said the village’s Department of Public Works will handle them in-house, rather than hiring a contractor. Trustee Larry LaPointe gave the examples of Grant and Bleeker streets, off East Broadway, which he said are in bad shape.


Path takes Highlands road

Port Jefferson’s village board of trustees approved a contractor last week to install about 0.2 miles of sidewalk along Highlands Boulevard, between the entrance to the Highlands condominiums and Oakland Avenue.

The sidewalk has been planned for a while. During a resident push for the village-owned grassy area on Highlands Boulevard, along which the sidewalk would run, to be declared as open space or parkland, the village also tossed around the idea of putting in a walkway there.

“They don’t even have a sidewalk,” Mayor Margot Garant said about the condos residents at a previous board meeting. “They have to walk in the road to get from the Highlands … to the upper Port area.”

Nesconset-based Jadeco Construction Corp. will put in the sidewalk at a cost of $65,100 and the village will pay Welsbach Electric Corp., of Flushing, $17,000 to install lighting along the route.

Although sidewalk plans are coming together now, the village approved the parkland designation for the 6-acre parcel in March, limiting its future use or development. Officials have discussed keeping the park passive, but possibly putting in benches and walking paths.