Upper wall put on hold, Port Jeff village board tackles branch pickup,...

Upper wall put on hold, Port Jeff village board tackles branch pickup, Station Street and upcoming events

Coastal erosion endangers the Village of Port Jefferson's property atop the East Beach bluff. Formerly the place of wedding receptions, the gazebo pictured above was obliterated by the most recent landslide last year. File photo by Raymond Janis

The Village of Port Jefferson Board of Trustees met on Monday, Nov. 21, for a business meeting covering a range of pressing public business.

Mayor Margot Garant presented the cost estimates for the proposed upper wall to fortify the East Beach bluff, presenting figures ranging from $3.32 million to $4.52 million depending on the scope of the projects, such as add-ons to accommodate racket sports amenities. [See story, “Port Jeff … trustees debate erosion mitigation strategy at village country club.]

After presenting these cost estimates, Garant recommended that the board reject these bids. “I don’t think we should take any action on the upper wall, the steel wall, at this point,” she said. 

The plans for the upper wall were delayed for a variety of factors, according to Garant. In a text message, she maintained that the delay was not a change of posture but rather a change in the timeline for final approval, given the weather and the pending completion of the lower wall. 

“My position hasn’t changed,” she said. “Something has to be done, but the timeline for the lower wall to be completed, with the upland restoration and plantings not occurring now to the spring, is pushing this from being done within the next six to eight months, so we cannot approve the bid.”

The board also debated an ongoing permit dispute between the village and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the Port Jefferson Village Clean Solid Waste Landfill. This kettle hole, which facilitates branch and leaf pickup services within the village, was affected by changes to state regulations in 2017.

The purpose of the deliberations was to decide whether to enable P.W. Grosser Consulting, a Bohemia-based environmental firm, to negotiate with the DEC to work out a permit agreement.

“We would like to get our permit back to what the state regs were prior to them changing them, which means we can put branches and leaves in there,” Garant said. “The challenge has become Mother Nature, really, with the large trees.” 

The mayor added, “Branch pickup, honestly, I don’t know if it’s sustainable for us in this community.”

With a looming Dec. 11 deadline, the future of the landfill and branch pickup in PJV hangs in the balance. After some debate, the board agreed to table the matter for a later meeting.

In her report, Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden detailed the results of a recent survey conducted to determine the name of Station Street, a one-way corridor opening in Upper Port. Out of 134 submissions, “Station Street” was the highest vote-getter.

Trustee Rebecca Kassay reported on an event she has been coordinating with other sponsors called Walk Safe with a Doc. The event will be held sometime this spring to  promote the physical benefits of walking and the importance of pedestrian safety.

Trustee Lauren Sheprow reported two upcoming meetings, one with the Country Club Social/Hospitality Task Force and the other with the newly reestablished Parks and Recreation Advisory Council. The PRAC will assign roles and designate committee chairs at its next meeting.

The board of trustees will reconvene Monday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m., the same day as the upcoming bond vote in Port Jefferson School District.