During a public meeting at Village Hall on Monday, July 18, Mayor Margot Garant presented to the board of trustees the options for the upland projects to stabilize the East Beach Bluff.
The Port Jefferson Country Club, a village-owned property, is now at risk of losing its clubhouse as coastal erosion has withered away the bluff. Without remediation, the clubhouse is likely to fall off the cliff within years.
Proposals to address the problem have been hotly contested by the public, with one faction favoring preserving the clubhouse and the other favoring a retreat plan. During the meeting, the mayor presented the board with both options, outlining the logistics and some of the expected costs for each.
The upper wall
The first option is a 47-foot-deep steel wall between the clubhouse and the edge of the cliff. This wall would be capped by timber, which Garant said would be safer, cheaper and more aesthetically appealing than a concrete cap.
To slow further erosion, the plans include extensive revegetation of the bluff. This would also avert additional expenses related to drainage.
“When this is installed with all of that vegetation, you’re not going to need any more drainage because that wall will become a stopgap and the vegetation will just soak everything up,” Garant said.
The conceptual layout of the planned design also accommodates two regulation-size tennis courts along with three pickleball courts.
Garant said this project would be approached in two phases. The first phase involves a section of wall aimed at preserving the clubhouse, while the second involves an extension of the wall for racket sports amenities.
Still without hard figures on the expected cost of the wall, Garant recommended that the board move forward with exploring this option. “I recommend putting the upper wall out to bid and getting a hard number on that,” she said.
The alternative proposal involves the demolition of the current clubhouse, immediate installation of a drainage system along the bluff, and the renovation and expansion of The Turn pub and grub facility to accommodate the existing clubhouse operations.
This retreat plan, based on an estimate provided to the mayor, would cost the village approximately $5 million to $6 million.
The board is likely several weeks away from making any decisions on this matter.
For additional background, see The Port Times Record’s April 7 story, “On the edge: Port Jeff Village weighs the fate of country club.”