Brand-new Bellport Marina opens for summer

Linda Leuzzi
Posted 7/2/20

The Bellport marina had 146 bobbing vessels in the water and happy boaters.

“We had a soft opening last weekend,” said Bellport Mayor Ray Fell. “Bellport Bay Sailing Foundation …

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Brand-new Bellport Marina opens for summer


The Bellport marina had 146 bobbing vessels in the water and happy boaters.

“We had a soft opening last weekend,” said Bellport Mayor Ray Fell. “Bellport Bay Sailing Foundation started Tuesday.”

Drumroll, please.  

The odyssey of the Bellport village marina’s $2.6 million FEMA restoration and opening since Super Storm Sandy hit in 2012 has been one of starts and stops that included convincing the federal government to approve a plan, finding the right investigative firm to aid the cause, then juggling delays because of the Covid virus.

“The bulkhead deteriorated tremendously because of Sandy, there were many open areas and sinkholes developed,” said Kocay of its former condition.

Water came up to the floorboards of the yacht club among other things.

Terry Contracting of Riverhead who came in with the lowest responsible bid for the Main Dock Project was awarded the contract last November at $2,142,610.

The big surprise were the marine borer culprits, sea creatures famous for drilling in and honeycombing wood in sea water. Those little guys infiltrated after the bay increased in salinity from the breach.

You don’t know you have them unless someone dives in the water to inspect bulkheads and pilings.

Kocay pushed a little further. “We had already made two attempts with FEMA and were rejected and we wouldn’t accept that,” he said.“The engineering firm we were working with, Nelson Pope, recommended Rising Tide Waterfront Solutions LLC for investigative work.”

Principal director/civil engineer and licensed diver) Adon Austin was hired to perform the dive.

 “John (Kocay) said get a diver in there for empirical evidence,” Fell added. “Adon arranged for FEMA to pay for it.”

“A picture is worth a thousand words and his discoveries put the project into a different category,” explained Kocay. “He uncovered the comprehensive damage done by Sandy and the borers.”

Addressing the bulkhead and the hydro-dynamic separator for stormwater drainage were the biggest parts of the now mainly completed project, said Kocay.

The main dock, the rock dock to the east, the small ferry dock, stick dock and Osborne dock were all addressed.

“It entailed replacing the affected area as is and in kind to current codes and standards,” Kocay added.

That included elevating the main dock 18 inches in some areas and creating a stormwater drainage system, the hydro-dynamic separator, a huge centrifuge that spins water and filters out contaminents. The village will clean and maintain it.

While Terry Contracting won the bid at $2.2 million, the obligation is for $2.6 million and Fell said there were change orders.

Fell gave kudos to former NYS Senator Tom Croci who kept pushing for project approval as well as help from trustee Joe Gagliano

 “To park on the dock, you have to be a village resident,” Fell said. “But visitors can park behind the bandshell and across on the eastern corner lot to welcome all guests.”

 There’s still another resurfacing that has to be done in the fall. “We just did the first coat,” said Fell. “We’ll let it settle and put the final coat in October. There is electrical data wiring and telephone hook up that remains.“

The village lays out funds for the renovations initially, then FEMA examines the project’s process and adherence to requirements before reimbursement.

“It’s a soft opening and we’re working on a punch list, but the soft opening was our goal and are so grateful we could open,” Kocay said.


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