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Hashamomuck Cove Resident Calls for Faster Action Near Narrow Roadway

County moving forward with study of erosion-prone stretch on Route 48.

After Hashamomuck Cove resident Lynn Laskos said water levels rose to "within six feet of Route 48" , the chair of the Hashamomuck Cove Group is again calling for expedited action to ensure that the narrow stretch of land between the Long Island Sound and Hashamomuck Pond doesn't wash away.

"We had no storm this weekend, but by 10 o'clock Saturday all hell had broken loose," Laskos said. "Our whole cause is that if the road washes out, that leaves Route 25 as the only in and out road between here and East Marion. What will happen if an ambulance needs to get to somebody who's having a heart attack?"

Laskos has been calling for a long-term solution in the area for years after what was her parents' home at the time washed away in 1994. She and other local representatives held a press conference just over a year ago accusing state officials of dragging their heels in funding a feasibility study which would look into preserving four shoreline areas in Southold.

A reconnaissance study (attached as a pdf file) completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in June of 2008, found that payment for the feasibility study — which would cost roughly $4.2 million — should be split between federal and local (county and town) entities. It remains unfunded.

A spokesman for state Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, said that, "any time there is money available, Mr. LaValle says that the Hashamomuck Cove project needs to get done. He will look into restoring funding for the project in the upcoming budget cycle."

The lack of reassurance has left county officials attempting to save the stretch of roadway it owns. Suffolk County is currently moving forward with a plan to fund a study of its own to ensure the safety of Route 48. In May, the county approved $100,000 to go to bond for a planning study of just the Hashamomuck Cove stretch.

"We don't feel we have much time," said Bill Faulk, legislative aide for County Legis. Ed Romaine, R-Center Moriches. "Wave erosion has definitely increased. And we feel if we can get our own plan, we can likely get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and the [Department of Environmental Conservation] to do work as long as we're funding it ourselves."

Faulk said the county Department of Public Works would be putting out a request for bid proposals by the end of the month for the study, however DPW officials could not immediately confirm.

A steel sheathing had also been proposed as a temporary measure last year — to be paid for between New York State and Suffolk County — however, Faulk said the proposal would have been "less than a Band-Aid" and the county decided not to proceed.

While Supervisor Scott Russell stated that "the town shouldn't be in the business of trying to restore private homes," he said that contributing to the cost of the study — roughly 30 percent of the local share, according to Faulk — shouldn't be a problem for the town.

With harsh winter weather around the corner, Laskos is hoping the "wheels of government start to spin before it's too late." Laskos and some of her neighbors received an emergency permit for repairs following last year's Dec. 26 storm, and may be eligible for others in the future.

The DEC defines eligibility for an emergency authorization request as the following: "'Emergency shall mean a natural or accidental human-made event which presents an immediate threat to life, health, property, or natural resources."

Benja Schwartz October 19, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Why was Ms. Laskos allowed to built her house after her parents' home washed into Long Island Sound in 1994? The houses and other shore hardening structures along the Hashamomuck littoral cell are creating the problem. Taxpayers should not be fooled into paying to preserve private property that was built despite knowing that it would be in peril.
joey whoever October 19, 2011 at 02:31 AM
for once i have to agree to with benja. Though Ms Laskos did u not know that there was a wind advisory this past weekend?? Northern wind at 25-35 knots?? and u said there wasnt a storm in the area?? i dno what u call that but it aint a walk in the park with that amount of wind... if u say the sound was 6 feet from the road where are the pics of that or are u just exagerating it? last time i checked the gutter is about 2 feet wide on RT48 so that leave another 4 feet. so there should be some kind of debris relatively close to the road but i didnt see any when i was driving around on sunday. U built ur house on the water maybe u and everyone else who buids their homes on the water should be paying to prevent mother nature from taking it away from you. PS ur not gonna stop her
indy October 19, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Our tax dollars should be used to purchase questionable parcels and let nature relaim them as we then may collectively enjoy them as parkland. Oh wait, nevermind, that would be logical.
forward thinking October 19, 2011 at 02:53 PM
I AGREE WITH THE PREMISE - BUILD IN A PERILOUS LOCALE PAY THE PRICE - DONT EXPECT ME TO PAY FOR YOUR CHOICE - TAXES SHOULD BE BASED ON ACTUAL RETAIL VALUE AND POTENTIAL RISK TO ALL - WE ALL TOOK AN INSURANCE "HIT" BECAUSE OF HOMES PLACED IN PERILOUS LOCATIONS . WHY SHOULD I PAY FOR IT...
doug hardy October 23, 2011 at 02:56 PM
The public should not be expected to bail out a property owner who made a poor real estate decision
wendy October 24, 2011 at 02:53 PM
The statement in the article was not totally correct. I was the Laskos neighbor at the time. The house was not washed into the sound. The basement sustained alot of damage to the point that the house neeed to be lifted and put on pillings. No one is trying to fool the public into anything . If it were not for the structures that are along RT 48 RT 48 would have been underminded by now. The people that worked hard most of there lifes to be able to buy a home there had to work the remainder of there lifes to make sure there homes don't wash into the sound. Until the day she died my mother inlaw had to pay from her fixed income to insure her home would still stand. She had work done just a month before she unexpectedly passed away to protect her home. What others don't realize. When you own property on the water not only are you protecting your property but all the property around it.You also have to follow the rules of the Town ,County,State and DEC and your insurence companies.Also the structures along HashamomucK Cove ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF THE ERROSION THERE. THE ERROSION IS THE RESULTS OF SOME POOR CHOICES THAT WERE MADE MANY YEARS AGO ALONG THE SHORE WEST OF HASHAMOMU-CK COVE. SOME TOWNS FAR WEST OF THERE.THERE ARE "STUDIES THAT PROVE THIS FACT. BUT THE MAIN REASON TO DO SOMETHING IN THE COVE IS TO PROTECT THE ROAD. NOT ONLY IS IT A MAIN THRU WAY BUT THERE ARE GAS,WATER SUPPLY AND ELECTRICAL LINES ALONG THE ROAD THAT SUPPLY ALOT OF HOMES AND BUSINESSES IN THE AREA.
wendy October 24, 2011 at 03:14 PM
All of you do not realize something. Most of these homes where built before there was even hardtop road there. When my mother inlaw and the Laskos for that matter bought not built there homes along that cove there was alot of land between the house and the water. If Ihad the papers in front of me or even some the pictues I have seen I would quote how much land. I do know in 1980 when I moved into my mouther-inlaws house you could walk in a straight line from her deck to the point west of them and not get your feet wet. So I dought they thought they would loose more then twice the beach then the land the house sits on right now.So don't judge to harshly. And the insurence hit everyone took was not just because of Hashamomuck Cove and other shore line areas. It was because of natural disasters all over the country.
wendy October 24, 2011 at 03:17 PM
And another thing. If you would like place blame then blame the Town . The town is the place you PAY to get your building permits from . Even for repair work.
forward thinking November 03, 2011 at 09:48 PM
everyone takes an increase on home owners insurance because of coastline building - i do not begrudge any shore front homeowner their paradise - a 1.5 mill home on the water pays the same taxes as a 700,000 inland home - yet when disaster strikes us all in-landers take the hit but shore liners want all to pay .

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