Reporter editorial: No news from LIPA is bad news

As Muhammad Ali once said, silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.

That seems to be the tack LIPA took on what’s going on — or rather what hasn’t been going on — at the bottom of Shore Road on Crescent Beach. The $9 million power pipeline project, a worthy effort to bring an extra source of electricity to the Island, was first scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day, then July 4 and then absolutely before Labor Day. One local businessman told us he’s booking bets it won’t be done before Thanksgiving.

But things happen, especially with a complicated and labor intensive project of digging a tunnel 40 feet below the bottom of the bay to Southold and then running 4,000 feet of pipe through it. Everyone should cut all involved some slack on missing deadlines, even though due dates probably should never have been marked on the calendar in the first place.

What’s troublesome is that teeth have been pulled with less exertion to just get LIPA to say that a drilling rig malfunctioned. (Or was it that the cable snapped, as another report had it?) After that there was no information of what was happening, with LIPA and its contractors taking more than a week off before even cluing in town officials or residents what, if any, the plan was. Calls to Bortech, the contractor doing the work for LIPA, were met with deafening silence, with CEO Robert Titanic’s office referring everything back to LIPA.

Town officials have rightfully cited the good working relationship the Island has had with the power company, getting the lights on here in a timely fashion during emergencies when large parts of Long Island had been in the dark.
But keeping the community in the dark for two weeks and counting about the future of this project is indefensible.