$4-Million Bond Okayed for Long Wharf; Consultant Hired for Sewage District Study Bids

The June 11 session of the Sag Harbor Village Board was the last for Trustee Ken O'Donnell, right, being applauded by Mayor Sandra Schroeder. Peter Boody photo

In a unanimous roll-call vote, the Sag Harbor Village Board authorized a $4-million bond to pay for the rehabilitation of Long Wharf at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 11, without discussion, debate or comment.

The move followed the board’s unanimous vote in May toaccept marine contractor Chesterfield Associates of Westhampton Beach low bid of $4,321,944 from to do the job.

Trustee Aidan Corish, who oversees the village’s grant application efforts, reported at the session that the village will be seeking $1.5-million this year in state funds to defray the cost of the work. It was awarded a grant of $550,000 for the work in 2017 that remains available.

The board also took a step toward the expansion of the municipal sewer district on Tuesday, agreeing to pay Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP $7,500 to prepare a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified consulting firms to bid on the job of preparing a study in order to develop plans for the work.

“We want to undertake a study of the existing system and where we can best use the excess capacity that’s available in the sewage treatment plant,” explained Trustee Corish, the board’s liaison for overseeing the sewage treatment plant. To do so, “we have to have an RFP written for that process by people who understand the nuances of what we would require in that study.”

Commenting that he and Mayor Sandra Schroeder are concerned about the waste water that flows from the treatment plant on Bay Street, Trustee Thomas Gardella asked if “reclamation of the water that’s being put back into the bay will be a part” of the study.

Trustee Corish said it will “illustrate what options we’ll have,” including the possibility of using the treated effluent to irrigate the state-owned Sag Harbor golf course and to wash down tanks at the plant itself, for which public water is now used.

O’Donnell’s Final Appearance

Mayor Sandra Schroeder announced that Tuesday’s meeting was the last for Trustee Ken O’Donnell, who chose not to seek reelection this year as he completed a third two-year term. “He’s done a wonderful job as a trustee and citizen of the village,” Mayor Schroeder said, prompting a round of applause.

Mr. O’Donnell thanked the voters, the department heads, employees and volunteers of the village, commenting “it really is a team effort trying to make everything work.”

He offered special thanks to Department of Public Works Superintendent Dee Yardley, to whom Mr. O’Donnell was the board’s liaison. “They guy gets it from every side, every single, every day and does nothing but try to do the right thing for the village,” he said.

He praised the professionalism of harbor master Bob Bori, to whom he was also the board’s liaison, “and each trustee that I’ve worked with over the course of the six years,” Trustee Jim Larocca and former Mayor and Trustee Ed Deyermond for their mentoring and friendship.

“I’m very thankful to have served these last two years as Sandra’s deputy” mayor, he added. “She’s always there to kick me under the dais when I’m about to say something stupid … So, thank you. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last four years.”

Waterways Law Tabled Again

The board once again tabled its ongoing hearing on a much debated and revised local law proposal originally intended to establish regulations for vessels operating, mooring and anchoring in what it labeled the “outer management area” of the harbor, over which the state granted the village jurisdiction beyond the usual limit of 1,500 feet from shore in 2016.

Originally written by the Harbor Committee and submitted to the Village Board early this year for adoption, the proposal has met resistance from boaters and mooring providers opposed to its original requirement for registering with the harbor master, among other things.

The draft available for public inspection does not include the latest revisions the board is pondering, Village Attorney David J. Gilmartin Jr. explained after two speakers, Gregory Cuyjet and Harbor Committee member John Parker, raised concerns about provisions of the proposal that the mayor told Mr. Cuyjet aren’t being considered anymore.

In order “to clear up the confusion,” Mr. Gilmartin said the “new version isn’t quite done yet; it hasn’t been made public. We anticipate that it will be done in the next two weeks. We’ll get it to this board, we’ll get it to the Harbor Committee, and it will be available to the public.”

Mr. Cuyjet had questioned the regulations for anchoring 1,500 feet from shore. “If you’re going to insist, and I’m not one for compromise on this, on harbor master permission to temporarily anchor …”

“That’s been taken out, sir,” interrupted the mayor. Mr. Cuyjet said the chart with the publicly available draft shows it, she added, “This is the original thing. We can’t keep changing the maps because of the expense.”

“We just wanted to make sure we had the whole public hearing thing done because it’s an important document. It’s not nice but it’s very expensive to [have to be] changing these charts every time we come up with a new idea. I’d rather have them all together, do it at once. That’s all it is.”

Mr. Parker had questioned language in “this most recent version,” which he had obtained the day before from Village Attorney Elizabeth Vail when she met with the Harbor Committee to talk about changes she had called for in the proposal. Mr. Parker said he was surprised by a new version of the proposal’s “legislative intent” which seemed to give the Harbor Committee rather than the village itself authority over outer management area.


Other Business

Also on Tuesday, the Village Board:

  • Adopted a change in the parking regulations to reduce the maximum time allowed from two hours to 30 minutes on eight spaces in the center of Main Street, for which Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Field expressed her thanks. She said it would be helpful to downtown businesses.
  • Tabled to its organizational meeting on July 1 the request of Leah M. Oppenheimer on behalf of Temple Adas Israel for a special event permit to a march on July 4 from Windmill Park “to promote human interdependence.” The event was permitted last year and drew 500; she said she expected about 250 this year. But Police Chief Austin J. McGuire told the board that the department’s police officers and traffic control officers would already be stretching to handle the holiday workload and couldn’t also cover the march. He asked Ms. Oppenheimer to set another date.
  • Set a hearing for its July 9 regular meeting on a corrected version of a recently adopted parking regulation that contained a scrivener’s error prohibiting parking and standing on the west side of Meadow Street. The prohibition is for the east side of the street.
  • Thanked Dee Yardley for finding candidates to meet the village’s need for lifeguards and beach attendants this summer. The board hired the following as lifeguards: Catalina Badilla, Joseph Badilla, Edward Hoff and Carl Browngardt; and hired Michael White and Kayla Stallings as beach attendants.