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Costs to repair storm-damaged pavilion, pier await tally

Updated 1:10 pm, Friday, December 14, 2012

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  • The cost to fix damage to the Penfield Pavilion by Superstorm Sandy, shown here, has yet to be finally tallied. Photo: File Photo / Fairfield Citizen
    The cost to fix damage to the Penfield Pavilion by Superstorm Sandy, shown here, has yet to be finally tallied. Photo: File Photo

 

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Damage inflicted on the Penfield Pavilion by Superstorm Sandy is expected to keep the recently rebuilt beachfront structure closed through the summer season, but officials still don't know the cost to repair the pavilion and other town recreation facilities.

"Public works has engineers ... studying the facility and working up a cost of what needs to be done," Gerald Lombardo, the town's parks and recreation director, told the Parks and Recreation Commission on Wednesday night. "To my knowledge the two significant (projects) are Penfield and the fishing pier.

"The fishing pier got totally destroyed. All the bells that are out there -- the channel markers -- they all came in. We know that we have to dredge the entrance to the harbor, coming into the marina," which he said was done only a year and a half ago. Southport Harbor, he added, also needs to be dredged.

Along with many downed trees, other noteworthy issues that need to be addressed from the storm's damage include the loss of two beach concession stands. The stand at Southport Beach, Lombardo said, was carried across Pequot Avenue by the surging tides. "That got pushed right off its foundation," he said. "The only thing that saved it is the guardrail.

"I don't know what the (cost) number is on any of these things yet and I don't know how much FEMA is going to cover. At Penfield, I know we have a deductible of half a million dollars."

"We will start bringing it before the boards for funding next month," Lombardo said, suggesting that commission members may want to take a walking tour of the pavilion.

Describing damage to the building, he said, "When you walk in the front door the wall is about six inches off the floor, and you can see the wires running through the wall.

"What happened was the sand got scoured out by the water coming through and over the top of the seawall we put in ... The seawall held, but it got breached where the openings were.

"The pilings underneath are basically just hanging because there's no sand under them. When the pilings are hanging there, there's no support, so it's sagging.

"There's damage inside and out. I'm told it can be fixed," Lombardo told the commission, though it's currently "condemned for use."

"I don't have an idea of how much it's going to cost," he said. "I don't think any one person has a definitive answer on the insurance."

"This is going to affect our revenues as well," Commissioner Patti Dyer said of the lost potential fees for rental of the pavilion during the coming year.

Lombardo said 39 reservations for events planned at the pavilion through March have been canceled.

"Some of them are hanging on and waiting," said Joan Ryan, office manager for the Parks and Recreation Department, in hopes that repairs might be made in time to accommodate their events.