Riverside and Flanders residents worried about broken glass at vandalized bus shelters will see relief on Monday, with repairs completed later in the week, Southampton Town officials say.
After Brad Bender, president of the Riverside, Flanders and Northampton Civic Associaton spoke out about what he said were unsafe conditions on Sunday, the town responded Monday morning.
But Bender said the response time was just not fast enough.
"This was, and is, a hazardous and dangerous condition and shold have been made completely safe at the time it was reported," Bender said Monday. "It has also left the town open to liability that could potentially affect every taxpayer in the town. This is just another example of how the Flanders and Riverside community are just second class. Had this been in Bridgehampton or Hampton Bays, I assure you that it would have been attended to immediately."
Tom Neely, Southampton Town Director of Transportation, said the safety glass in one shelter was broken about three weeks ago. The glass on the ground was cleaned up and the shelter was taped off with caution tape, he said; the replacement safety glass was ordered a few days later, after an estimate was obtained and approved. Neely said it takes approximately two weeks for the glass to be made & delivered.
"It should be replaced this week," Neely said.
Neely said approximately two weeks after the first shelter was damaged, a second shelter was vandalized, with five additional panes of glass smashed. In addition, he noted, the remainder of the glass in the first shelter was broken -- panels that had been damaged previously but had been still in place were further broken and panels that had not been damaged in the first case of vandalism were broken in the second attack, he said.
"The broken safety glass on the ground at the second site and remaining safety glass still in the panels was cleaned up completely last week and the remainder of the glass in the first shelter still in the panels is being removed today," Neely said Monday.
Neely added that the safety glass on the ground was cleaned up after both cases of vandalism and, in both cases, caution tape was wrapped around the shelter to prevent people from accidently getting near the cracked glass still in the panels.
"We are working to allocate funding to replace all of the damaged glass in the second shelter," Neely said; total damage cost are expected to total approximately $3,250 for both shelters, an amount "which far exceeds our bus shelter repair budget," he said.
Despite the fact that Bender said he had called Southampton Town for help, to no avail, Neely said he spoke to Bender after the first act of vandalism. "I would have been glad to have given him the update if he had called me," he said.