Written by Gary Simeone, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 31 May 2014 00:00
If you’ve driven by the old Mill Pond House off of West Main Street, you’ve probably noticed a big black, chain-link fence surrounding the property. The historic home, which was built in 1680 and recently ravaged by two fires, has seen additional security on its premises in the past few months and now is enclosed in an eight feet high chain-link fence. The $40,000 fence was installed in early May by Laser Industries of Ridge, according to Town of Oyster Bay officials.
“A permanent fence was built to deter encroachment onto the property,” says town spokesperson Kurt Ludwig. “We expect the new fence will do a good job of preventing any unauthorized persons from entering the property.”
The house, which is the oldest in the Hamlet of Oyster Bay, was damaged by fires on March 17 and March 22. Nassau arson investigators are looking into both fires at the house, which has been vacant for many years.
After the fires, public safety officers from the Town of Oyster Bay were stationed at the house around the clock. The officers have recently been removed from their posts after the fence was installed earlier in the month. There is currently no video surveillance equipment or fire alarms installed on the property.
“The town plans to continue having public safety officers periodically check on the house,” says Ludwig. “They will be checking the house much more frequently than before the fires occurred.”
Oyster Bay Historical Society Director Phil Blocklyn says that his agency and “other historical agencies in Oyster Bay are concerned about the status of the house and the outcome of the fire investigation.”
Blocklyn attended a Town of Oyster meeting after the occurrence of the second fire and asked Town Supervisor John Venditto about the ongoing investigation.
“He told me that the final details of the report into what started the fires has not been completed,” says Blocklyn. “All the historical agencies are concerned and we are just waiting to hear from the town.”
Ludwig says that the town is still awaiting the engineer’s and feasibility status reports and “does not have a timetable on when that information will be released."