Village Board Supports Bond to Bring Electricity to Long Wharf

Site Foreman Tom Helms installs fencing as the project begins to renovate Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. Michael Heller photo

The Sag Harbor Village Board on Tuesday night voted 4-0 to adopt a bond resolution in the amount of $550,000 to finance the installation of electrical service on docks and piers on Long Wharf as a part of the ongoing renovation of that facility.

On Wednesday, Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy said that while electric was included in original discussions about Long Wharf’s renovations, it was left out of the final $4.32 million bid by marine contractor Chesterfield Associates of Westhampton Beach that the village board accepted in June. After speaking with Harbormaster Bob Bori and some other boat owners, Ms. Mulcahy said the consensus was it made more sense to add electric now, rather than have to potentially tear up the Wharf down the road to include the amenity.

On Tuesday night, during the monthly village board meeting, Ms. Mulcahy explained this will fund the planning and construction of three power pedestals that will service the three yacht spaces on Long Wharf that are operated by the village “so the three large vessels that come in can have electric and will not have to run diesel engines.”

The project will also improve electric on the transient dock and will pay for the installation of two electric vehicle charging stations on Long Wharf.

Ms. Mulcahy estimated that the village would recoup its investment in fees in roughly four to five years.

“It’s across the board going to be a win-win for the village,” she said on Wednesday. “We were looking at grants, and will continue to do so, but we had terrible issues with brownouts on the transient docks this summer and this will keep our boaters happy, our visitors happy and the fish will be happy we are not running those diesel engines anymore.”

The $4.23 million Long Wharf project began construction in September after HarborFest. Work is expected to be completed in June 2020, barring severe winter weather.

While village officials did work with business owners on Long Wharf on a plan that allowed for the construction while maintaining some parking on the south end of wharf, last Thursday, business owners received an email from village clerk Beth Kamper notifying them that as of Monday, December 9, almost the whole wharf would be closed to vehicles and pedestrian traffic as Chesterfield Associates moves forward with the installation of steel sheeting on the west side of the wharf near the windmill.

“This will require them to have their equipment around the island and for safety reasons, the wharf will have to be closed,” said Ms. Kamper in an email.

On Wednesday, Ms. Mulcahy said for liability reasons, the village had no choice but to close the wharf, but that the pedestrian sidewalk to businesses on Long Wharf will remain open and that Superintendent of Public Works Dee Yardley planned to install white lighting on a grouping of trees on the south side of the wharf to make it more inviting despite construction.

A moveable gate will be installed, she said, at the entrance to Long Wharf near Bay Street where businesses can have deliveries made by contracting Chesterfield Associates. Those needing handicap access will also be able to access stores through that gate, she said.

“We did make a compromise to keep the west side of Long Wharf open with seven parking spaces available at the windmill,” said Ms. Mulcahy. “We are hoping people will respect those are for customers for the stores on Long Wharf and not for people shopping or eating elsewhere in the business district.”