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Conkling Point Power Struggle

Photo by John H. Mulholland

LIPA is proposing to relocate existing power lines along Island View Lane where they currently run through the wetlands, according to Gary Mangus of Conkling Point. These include LIPA lines for local service, the LIPA back feed to Shelter Island, and the lines for Verizon, and CableVision. Click here to see more photos of the power lines.

Gary writes, “Two years ago, LIPA projected the total cost to home owners at over $200,000. Now, approval has been obtained from LIPA to relocate the lines from the wetlands to the road at no charge to the fourteen home owners involved. Verizon and Cable Vision will also relocate their lines (on the same poles) at no charge to the home owners. I have been trying to get this to happen since 1999, others have been trying for over 15 years. This is an incredible opportunity. “

Beyond the environmental and aesthetic aspects of these poles and lines in pristine wetlands, (the poles are treated with toxic creosote), their poor condition is also a cause of concern to residents, especially as they are difficult to maintain in their present location. Gary Mangus believes it’s a question of when, not if, they will fall down. Then he fears, they will land on one and possibly as many as five houses. With 30,000+ volts of power involved, the issue then becomes one of safety as well as wetlands health and scenic beauty.

Eleven of the fourteen families involved are strongly supporting the relocation, but three owners are opposed. “They would prefer to leave the poles and lines in the wetlands and in their water view rather than in their road and field view. LIPA wants agreement from all 14 families. If we do not get this to happen now we believe it never will.” said Gary. He is appealing to members of SoutholdVOICE to write a letter to LIPA to show community support for moving the power lines, then he believes they may be willing to move forward.

Letters should be sent to:

Steven Aylward, LIPA Design Supervisor
by email to: saylward-AT-keyspanenergy.com (replace -AT- with @)
by snail mail to: LIPA
117 Doctors Path
Riverhead, NY 11901
Attention: Steven P. Aylward

Gary’s suggestions and options that you might want to include in your letter:
1) Subject: the LIPA proposal to move the power lines from the waterside to the road along Island View Lane.

2) State that you are strongly (or whatever your position is) in favor of the relocation of the poles. If you want to, you can let them know that you know that three individuals prefer to keep the poles on the water side, and so that is why you want to let LIPA know that you are in favor of the relocation. The following is a list of reasons that you might want to cite

  • safety – the lines could come down on houses, people and wetlands
  • health – not liking all that voltage so close to our homes
  • aesthetics – they are not nice to look at in our view of the water, they are appropriate and expected on roadside
  • maintenance crews can’t get in some places and where they can the tree trimming is a problem.
  • environmental – proximity to wetland
  • any other reasons of your own.

3) It might be helpful to thank LIPA in advance for doing it.


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