Being a nomad of sorts I walk many beaches all over Long Island.
In the last month alone I tried to see Orient Point State Park, but it was inaccessible. Fire Island's Lighthouse is also inaccessible and Robert Moses State Park is not opened. Smith Point on the eastern part of Fire Island is open but the board-walks and steps to the sea are still looking the same way they did the day after Hurricane Sandy.
So my point is, next week is March. When will the parking lots, restrooms, showers, and in some cases sand be ready for the summer season? I am reading almost daily postings about $50 billion of Sandy Relief yet where is the work? Where and how is the money being spent?
Using my old phone number I called a town supervisor who normally is very helpful, but he more or less said to call Albany. The scary part is like the garbage pickup on Fire Island of the destroyed homes many bids are being challenged, and have not been awarded. What I am saying is perhaps a great deal of the work will not be done by Memorial Day, and most likely I truly believe some of the work will not be done this year, but maybe over a few years. Now when I walk the beach alone, on weekdays, it's really special. But if restrooms are not available come summer and access to the ocean via the parking lots is also limited, what will it look like in July?
I am very worried that the $50 billion of Hurricane Sandy aid will become like the aid to New Orleans, where despite the rhetoric, it took four years to get things done, although to this day there are still areas looking like nothing was ever done.
You can forget about a large part of Fire island being ready for this summer. With beds and destroyed furniture still in front of severely damaged homes it is like a nightmare. Normally with such messes homeowners would be fined, sometimes I wish we could fine supervisors, state senators and state assemblymen for delays.
This is a heads up: I don't think things will be ready this summer at our beaches. However, the ocean will have the breaching waves to swim in and that's a reason we live so close to it. But get on the horn, make some noise, call up and make sure the work gets started soon and doesn't become boondoggles.