The Village News: Editorials

May 14, 2020

Are You Kidding!?!?!?


EditorialSince my Editorial on March 3, 2020, I have very deliberately refrained from criticizing or even mentioning the work “not” being done at the Bellport Village Marina. As you all know, there have been and are much bigger issues facing all of us and I’ve spent my time trying to inform you, as best I could, as to the status of the COVID-19 virus and how it affects the South Country Area. However, when our local government tries to rewrite history and distribute “Fake News,” I have to speak out.

On May 13, 2020, John Kocay, Bellport Village Clerk, and Katie Mehrkens, Deputy Bellport Village Clerk, published the following.

“Unfortunately, there has been a delay in our construction project due to weather, and even more importantly due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis. The progress of the project has been plagued by supply chain issues, wet weather/high water ground tables and most importantly the crew had been stricken by the virus. Fortunately, post-quarantine the whole crew is back and they are making great progress. We hope that they will be able to continue unimpeded by the pandemic.

We hesitate to give a date to open the Marina, but the end of May, beginning of June, is targeted. The storm water system and water purification system are well under way and should be completed by next week. This will be followed by the electrical system, and then the asphalt resurfacing, with the final coats of asphalt being laid in the fall.

We will continue to keep you posted as to the progress of the project. We appreciate your patience and support of this major project and the "new normal" we all must maintain, as we look forward to a great boating season.

John Kocay
Village Clerk

Katie Mehrkens
Deputy Village Clerk”

Now, I’ve known John and Katie a long time. They are good, honest people and I’m sure they didn’t come up with the idea to publish this letter on their own, I think the Village Board is behind it. So, let’s look at facts, not the Fake News.

• “Delay in our construction project due to weather.” This was the mildest winter in recent history! The first phase of the Village Marina project was supposed to be done by March 31. Today is May 14th and counting.

• “Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis.” COVID-19 issues didn’t really become an issue until two weeks before the project was supposed to be completed. Where was the contractor in the fall? Why didn’t work start until after January 1, 2020?

• “Plagued by supply chain issues.” That’s true of almost any project and reflects on the competence of the contractor selected by the Village Board. Supply chain issues are the responsibility of the contractor, not the Village.

• “Wet weather/high water ground tables.” Duh! You’re working on a marina at the edge of the water. What did you expect?

• “Post-quarantine the whole crew is back.” Okay, quarantine might account for 14 days. Where was everybody the rest of the past 7 months?

• “We hesitate to give a date to open the Marina.” I am told that a competent contractor should have a pretty good idea of completion dates. It determines his bottom line, what he’s going to make or lose.

The above letter closes by mentioning the “New Normal.” I hope the New Normal is honest, factual information, not “spin.” It’s time for the Village Board to be honest with the residents, visitors, beach goers, and boat owners.


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Larry Sribnick

Larry Sribnick