Theft puts temporary hold on revitalization project
By Janee Law
The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc., will be putting its $871,000 revitalization project on hold after a $16,000 piece of equipment was stolen from a work barge late last month.
“It was there late in the day on March 24, and on Monday, March 27 it was gone,” Pam Setchell, president of the Lighthouse Preservation Society, said.
The piece of equipment was an 800-pound pile grapple that attaches to machinery on the barge to move and position piles.
“It’s nothing that blows over in the wind. It would take someone to have some piece of machinery that is strong enough to remove it or to push it over the side,” Setchell said. “The contractors sent down divers to look underneath and around the barge and they have come up with absolutely nothing.”
Suffolk Police’s Second Squad is also planning a dive to search for the equipment, Setchell said.
She added that the incident will delay construction on the revitalization project.
With Port Washington-based Frank Scobbo Contractors in charge of the project, Setchell said, they were going to deal with rearranging some stone and put in new pilings.
“Now they’re going to have to change the order of how they proceed,” she added. “They’re just going to continue to repair and excavate and they will leave that portion of replacing pilings until later.”
The barge has been tucked behind Wincoma Beach since January due to weather and high winds. Setchell said the only way someone would have access to the barge is by boat.
Setchell said this is just one of numerous vandalisms that have taken place since the project started last year.
“It’s very upsetting to think that somebody would do so many bad things to a group of people that have worked so hard to raise money and do something good for the waterfront and the community,” Setchell said. “Whoever is out there that’s got an issue, we’re going to finish this project no matter what. You might slow us down but you’re not going to stop us.”
Police said they received the report of the stolen item on March 29. Suffolk County Second Squad detectives are currently investigating as a grand larceny case, according to police.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Suffolk County Second Squad detectives at 631-854-8252.