Point Lookout Civic Beach-Sunday January 27, 2013.
Today Local residents braved the cold at Point Lookout Civic Beach to hear Senator Charles Schumer and other local leaders address Point Lookout civic leaders and citizens about revisiting the Army Corps of Engineers plan for shoring up our shoreline.
At his side were State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford. Also represented were Long Beach, by City Manager Jack Schnirman and Councilman Len Torres. Also there was Asharoken Mayor Dr. Gregory Letica and many others.
Also in attendance were members of the Point Lookout Civic Association, Lido Dunes Civic Association and about 100 local residents.
At topic was bringing back the Army Corps of Engineers’ comprehensive barrier island plan for the nine mile stretch that we live on – Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Lido Beach, and Point Lookout. This would be part and parcel of the current Sandy Relief Aid Bill.
Senator Schumer discussed that Monday, January 28, 2013 is the vote in the US Senate for the Sandy Relief Aid package, passed by the house about 2 weeks ago (see our story “Walk a Mile In Our Shoes Goes to Washington”)
He is “optimistic, but worried”. He says they have all 55 Democrat votes secured, but will still need 5 Republican votes to pass. He had 12 commitments from Republicans, but a number have already backed out (Luger, Snowe, Bailey-Hutchinson were named).
He said “most importantly, is this will give full aid to people who have lost their homes here, where the average damage is $100,000.00” .
The army corps’ plan is for a full rebuild, “not just to restore, but to make it better than it was. That matters tremendously to homeowners- you want to know you have protection if you’re going to rebuild.”
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray spoke thanking the leaders for getting the money for the municipalites so local taxes don’t have to rise. “We stand behind the Senator to help get this passed. We thank the Senator and his colleagues in advance to do what is right for our towns and our residents”, and pass this legislation.
State Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg of Long Beach spoke. He had high praise for the senator who he said was responsible for getting the generators and other equipment into Long Beach that got the city’s sewers back online. He thanked Peter King as well for going above and beyond for local residents.
To show his appreciation, he presented the Senator with 2 pieces of the now-defunct Long Beach Boardwalk.
He went on to make a short but impassioned speech saying “we need community input – get involved.” And in account of the ACOE plan “for 20 years we worked on this(Army Corps of Engineers) plan. The 2006 city council in Long Beach were intimidated by people (to kill the plan), many from out of town. They scared people that we were going to have black sand and the like. 98 million dollars was lost. Now, Six years later it’s “hey can we get that money back”.
Luckily, the answer is yes.
A member of the audience asked “what if Long Beach votes it Down again”?
To that, Long Beach City Councilman Len Torres stepped up to the podium and responded :
“As the current administration, along with our city manager, we have a complete majority on having the work done by the Army Corps of Engineers. Its not going to be what we saw six years ago. We assure our Senator and the community of Long Beach that this plan, that began then, will be continued now.”
With that, the representatives surveyed the damage and Supervisor Murray showed the Senator what we have been doing here to dredge sand and make emergency dunes for whatever minimal protection we have at the moment here in Point Lookout.
The Senate vote on the Sandy Relief Aid Bill is set for 5:30PM, Monday January 28.
“Hopefully I can call my friends (here Monday Night) at 7 and say “it’s done”, said Senator Schumer.