The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a contract for engineering services to prepare required permits and contracts to commence a bulkhead replacement project for bayside homes after Hurricane Sandy.
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L.K. McLean Associates, a Brookhaven-based architecture and engineering firm, will prepare the contracts for $8,999, as well as provide non-site specific proposal designs and obtain permits for $4,403.
Jim LaCarrubba, the city’s commissioner of public works, elaborated on the proposal’s duel components. “One is to prepare the specifications for the bulkhead so that we can put those specification out to bid,” he said. “The other is to provide the site specific plans and do all of the permitting for the residents in cases where the city is going to replace bulkhead on public property.”
The permits will be submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers and the Town of Hempstead for approval.
Last month city officials announced the new aid program, which offers residents the opportunity rebuild their Sandy-damaged bulkheads, the cost of which the city will finance and residents can pay back either by annual voucher or on their annual tax bill, across a span of up to 20 years. If the homeowner moves, the balance can be transferred to the new homeowners.
The city said more than 300 bayside homeowners, from the Canals to the West End, are eligible to apply for the program. LaCarrubba said that 15 residents have signed up for it.
Lewis Dubow, a resident of Kirkwood Street in the Canals, expressed surprise that only 15 people had signed up for the bulk-heading program so far. “Maybe the city could somehow reach out to people [whose homes are located] on the water,” he suggested.
City Manager Jack Schnirman said that the city would continue to advertise the program. “Just because 15 people have formally applied doesn’t mean … that there isn’t a lot of interest,” he said.
The city is expected to bond funds for the project in groupings, rather than for each individual project, to cover the costs and pay the contractor or contractors at a less costly rate. The city will pay for these services through an account called Sandy Recovery Services, according to the resolution.
While the city has not yet publicly put an estimate on the cost of the project, Dubow said the costs is about $500 to replace a foot in length of bulkhead.
Before voting to approve the proposal Tuesday, Councilman Len Torres said that bayside residents have expressed concern as to how they would be able to replace their bulkheads that were damaged during the October storm. “We think it’s a magnificent program to help our residents with such expensive work that has to be done,” Torres said.
In 2010, the city hired L.K. McLean Associates to develop designs to reconstruct roads in the Canals neighborhood, and last year the city hired the firm for designs for repairs at City Hall. Councilman John McLaughlin was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.