Boat Fueling Nixed at Sag Harbor’s Long Wharf

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Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. Kathryn G. Menu photo

By Christine Sampson

The Sag Harbor Village Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to stop the practice of allowing boats to fuel up at Long Wharf, citing the need to protect water quality locally after hearing reports of three recent spills nearby, none of which occurred at village-owned facilities.

Trustee Ken O’Donnell said he made the motion to nix fueling at Long Wharf based on a recommendation from harbormaster Bob Bori. Mr. O’Donnell said the village only takes in about $5,000 annually in revenue from the service, so halting it would not be much of a loss.

“Bob will stop taking reservations as far as that goes,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “Boats will need to go to a marina that offers fueling. If it’s happening on a smaller scale, God forbid it happens on a larger scale.”

Mayor Sandra Schroeder supported the idea, saying the current practice of allowing fueling “is not worth it.”

Mr. Bori said about three or four boats were fueling up each week — not a tremendous number, he said, but he has received complaints from taxpayers and concerned inquiries from members of the Harbor Committee “about fuel trucks being down there and the possibility of a spill.”

“Unfortunately, it does happen,” he said. “Especially with everyone questioning water quality, we thought this was the right way.”

Harbor Committee member Jeff Peters, who was at the meeting Tuesday, lauded the decision. He said ceasing fueling at Long Wharf was a longtime suggestion of the committee.

“I’m very pleased with the trustees going ahead and doing this,” he said. “Hats off to the them for finally seeing that it was the right thing to do. It looks like they really are into the water quality of Sag Harbor, pushing for better waters. It took time, but it worked.”

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