BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Abandoned boats are becoming a serious issue on Long Island.
But in Suffolk County, a whole town is now working together to track down the crooks. As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported Tuesday, they’re using shame to get the job done.
They may not look like they’re worth much, but to Babylon residents, the two abandoned boats that now sit behind town hall cost them $10,000 in total for removal and disposing fees.
“It shouldn’t be left to us to get the burden,” resident Rene Valdivia said.
“Why should we pay for someone that doesn’t want to pay and discards it in a callous manner?” resident Janice Soares added.
For years, the town has had to collect boats cast aside on town property and in town water, usually it’s stuck with up to 14 a year.
“I think it’s pathetic, in a way. I think it’s bad for Long Island, itself, and causing a lot of havoc,” resident Marc Traficante said.
But officials want to put an end to this illegal dumping by creating a virtual “Abandoned Boat Wall of Shame,” posted on the town website.
“It’s a big expense and there is no reason why the taxpayer should pay extra money to get rid of it,” Babylon Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety Pat Farrell said.
Farrell is spearheading the effort, hoping residents recognize the boats uploaded online so officials can be directed to their owners, who would then be charged and fined.
“That wall of shame will get someone’s attention about, someone may turn me in. I better not dump the boat. So, we are hoping they do the right thing,” Farrell said.
Most of the time, the boats are valueless and their identification numbers have been removed.
“It’s not like their new boats or anything you can do. A lot of them, they strip them,” xxxxx said.
But boaters like Bruno Mirabella said it’s about the safety.
“They float away, and then they end of washing up on the marsh and then or a sandbar or something,” Mirabella said.
The town is also increasing surveillance at its boat ramps hoping to catch these dumping delinquents.
A fine for dumping a boat on a town property or in a marina could be anywhere between $250 to $1,000.