Long Wharf Dock Repair Dilemma

    Sag Harbor’s mayor, Brian Gilbride, and the village trustees Edward Gregory and Kevin Duchemin discussed a dilemma over repairs to the floating docks off Long Wharf that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy and the storm that followed.
    With time of the essence as the boating season approaches, Mayor Gilbride wondered at a special meeting on Friday if the village board should “bite the bullet” and accept the one bid received, in the amount of $201,000 from Keith Grimes, or readvertise in hopes of getting a lower bid.
    Originally advertised after Sandy but before the northeaster that followed weeks later, the bid did not include the electrical damage caused by the second storm, which was more punishing to the docks because of the wind’s direction. Mayor Gilbride said.
    Although some reimbursement is to be expected from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mayor Gilbride estimated that to be only about $80,000, adding that none of the damage is covered by insurance. He said that there is $1.2 million in the village’s repair fund.
    Mr. Gregory and Mr. Duchemin were in favor of seeing if the village’s Highway Department could perform some of the needed repairs, and of readvertising. Although the contractor agreed to a desired completion date of May 1, the board agreed that the majority of boaters don’t put their boats in the water until a little later, and that pursuing a lower bid would be prudent. The bid was rejected and a new bid will be advertised to include the additional repairs needed.
    The county recently turned over ownership of Long Wharf to the village, although an official ceremony of the deed transfer was canceled due to the blizzard earlier this month.
    In other business, Mr. Duchemin brought up the issue of his son, Kevin Duchemin Jr.’s, entry into the Sag Harbor Fire Department, which Mayor Gilbride denied at the board’s Feb. 12 meeting because, he said, village bylaws prohibit enrollment for undergraduate students. Mr. Gregory, who had supported the younger Mr. Duchemin at the Feb. 12 meeting, reiterated his support on Friday and recalled that his own son had been a member of the department while a student at Suffolk Community College. Mayor Gilbride again denied the request, until the bylaws are changed. With only three trustees in attendance and the mayor against it, there were not enough votes to allow Mr. Duchemin’s son to begin fire school training.