Residents of Oakland Avenue in East Northport are upset after learning that National Grid may need to tear up their newly repaved road to install an 8-inch pipe as part of a gas line project at the .
Jane Reich, a 23-year resident, said she learned about the plans just days after repaving was completed on Oct. 24. “Everybody takes good care of their homes,” she said of her neighbors. “We take pride in where we live.”
Reich said the road hadn’t been repaved in at least 10 years, and she and her neighbors are just asking that if the pipe is installed, that the road be properly re-paved. She said they also want to know why the Town of Huntington would spend the money to pave the road, only to have to open it up again. Safety issues are also a concern.
A meeting held Wednesday between the and National Grid was not open to the public, and Reich expressed frustration at the lack of information. Reich said Superintendent of Highways William Naughton had not responded to her phone calls.
The Town held a public meeting on the project in July. Reich said her understanding was that notice of the meeting was posted in papers, but was not sent to residents. “It’s a nice neighborhood. If someone had known, word would have gotten around. We would have gone.”
Reich said she and her neighbors have contacted Town officials, and that Susan Berland, Glenda Jackson, and Mark Mayoka had agreed to contact the Highway Department to gather more information.
On Thursday morning, Mike Kaplan, a representative from the Highway Department, said they haven’t seen any plans of what National Grid is proposing and that the company hadn’t even applied for a permit. “We were unaware of this project,” he said, and directed all calls to Naughton. A phone call to Naughton’s office was unreturned.
Wendy Ladd, a spokesperson for National Grid, said however, that the Highway Department had signed off on permits for the project over the summer, but those permits expired. She said that at Wednesday’s meeting, the Highways Department asked for revisions to National Grid’s plans, and Ladd said new plans would be re-submitted on Friday.
Ladd said conversion to natural gas at the medical center would offset over 10,000 tons of CO2 annually. That amount is equivalent to taking approximately 3,750 cars off the road.
Reich said she had no problem with the medical center’s plans for gas conversion but with the way the project has been handled. “With everyone struggling to pay our ever increasing town taxes, how could the town be so wasteful?"