Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sorry, Wrong Number!

Lynde Point Lighthouse

Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse

Earlier this year, a number of lighthouses were made available for "adoption" by the U. S. federal government, (See earlier post titled "Wanna Buy a Lighthouse?"). Among the available lighthouses was Saybrook Breakwater in Old Saybrook, CT.
This may be hard to believe, but an article which appeared Sept. 19th in Guilford, Ct.'s Shoreline Times makes light of the fact that the government may have made a mistake in adding the wrong lighthouse to the list!
Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is only about a mile and a half away from Lynde Point Lighthouse. Unlike Lynde Point, which can be easily accessed by the public, Saybrook Breakwater is at the end of a large rock pier which must be accessed through private land. The only other access to the lighthouse is by boat.
What seems like a case of a "normal" government SNAFU, an employee of the Boston office of the General Services Administration, (the government agency which decides which lighthouses to divest each year), visited the area of the two lighthouses. Although the lighthouses look nothing like each other, (see above photos), the employee allegedly confused the two and posted the wrong lighthouse on the expendable list.

What happens now is unclear. Although the Board of Selectmen in the town of Saybrook is exploring the option of acquiring Saybrook Breakwater should the feds still want to make it expendable, the town's attorney has advised the Board against such an acquisition, stating problems with public access insurance and the estimated astronomical cost of removing hazardous material within the lighthouse and restoring it.

As for the Lynde Point Lighthouse, the GSA would have to begin the divestiture process all over again, according to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

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