Town of Smithtown residents demand shuttered Callahans Beach reopen
Dozens of Town of Smithtown residents rallied Saturday demanding that their closed neighborhood beach reopen.
Callahans Beach in Fort Salonga has been closed since Sept. 2021 when remnants of Hurricane Ida damaged a bluff and a stairway leading to the sand.
Smithtown's Town Board was awarded last September a $2.3 million contract for repairs to Callahans Beach, and officials planned to reopen by this summer.
Residents said, however, the repairs are nowhere near done, They also said the lack of a nearby beach is robbing families of making precious summer memories.
A Town spokesperson issued a statement saying in part, "The Town of Smithtown is as equally frustrated as we have dealt with about a year to a year and half long permit process, which is in line with environment protection standards where other federal agencies are involved such as DEC."
The Town also said the ongoing closure is due to supply chain issues which have caused delays in securing lumber for the repairs.
The Town added that residents can go to several other town beaches in the meantime. Residents said that that is unacceptable.
"It's a problem not just because of the inattention of the town, but now the apparent lack of any sort of plan going forward to reopen the beach," said resident William Holst.
The Town says the scheduled date for reopening is early October.