It was all smiles Thursday morning as representatives from PSEG, Shelter Island Town, the Heights Property Owners Corporation and Greenport Village gathered outside the North Ferry office to celebrate the successful completion of a seven-month project to install underwater electrical cables.
The completion will guarantee the town reliable electricity to meet peak demands during the summer months.“Enjoy your power,” a jovial Greenport Mayor George Hubbard declared. Since his own vehicle repair shop is located on the Island, he too, will be a beneficiary of reliable power here.
He said it took some effort to get Greenporters onboard after a previous project conducted by Long Island Power Authority contractor Bortech couldn’t be completed in 2013.
But he noted posts appearing on a website operated by Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips had residents of Fourth and Sixth streets in the village saying they wish the project had been done where they live instead of on Fifth Street because Fifth Street now looks better than it has in 30 years.
But given the payment of $1.3 million by PSEG to Greenport, other parts of the village will experience infrastructure improvements. In addition, the village got a $30,000 easement fee and an overhead circuit reinforcement for the Greenport Electric Company that will allow it to get back on line quicker in case of a power outage.
Supervisor Gary Gerth said it has been a pleasure interacting with Greenport, the Heights Property Owners Corporation (HPOC) and PSEG and seeing it come to a successful and timely conclusion.
“The town of Shelter Island gratefully appreciates PSEG Long Island’s hard work, seamless construction and ensuring a continued reliable power supply to meet the growing demands,” Mr. Gerth said.
For Islanders who have been dependent on one North Fork underwater circuit and a less powerful circuit coming from the South Fork, it means reliable power.
“It was a simple need but not a simple solution,” HPOC General Manager Stella Lagudis said.
She thanked Greenporters for cooperating with the project and also praised Shelter Island Police, Fire and EMT units and the Highway Department for their cooperation in helping to plan and carry out traffic control and other needs that kept vehicles moving relatively smoothly between North Ferry and the roads in the Heights. The planning resulted in a project done with little disruption.
“It was a flawless execution,” and it couldn’t have been done without the collaboration of Greenport, Ms. Lagudis said.
“They say it takes a village,” but this project “took a village, a town and everyone in between,” she said.
“You clearly put the right resources behind this,” she told PSEG officials.
Shelter Island Town Engineer John Cronin predicted success early in the process, pointing out that few subcontractors have the right drilling equipment to accomplish the job that was successfully done by Carson Construction of Lafayette, New Jersey.
PSEG officials promised the job would be done by mid-May so that it could be completed before Memorial Day. The inscription on plaques given to Mr. Gerth, Mayor Hubbard, Ms. Lagudis and Project Manager Manny Lilimpakis bore the completion date of May 14, 2018.
Prior to Superstorm Sandy, Shelter Island had three distribution feeders providing power to the Island. One comes from the South Fork, but lacks the ability to provide enough power for the entire town. The other two were from the North Fork and one of them suffered damage from the storm and failed.
The newly installed feeder line replaces the cable lost during Sandy and will provide back-up if it’s needed.