State Grant Awarded for Havens Beach Drainage and Filter Improvements

Outflow pipe from underground filter chamber that directs rainwater runoff onto Havens Beach. Peter Boody photo

The Village of Sag Harbor has received a State and Municipal Facilities Program grant of $125,000 to pay for most of the long-planned Havens Beach drainage improvement project, on which work should get underway late this fall, according to project manager Jenny Lund of P.W. Grosser Consulting, Inc., the village’s engineering consultant.

Ms. Lund reported the grant award when she presented a slide show to update the Village Board and the public on the project at the board’s August 13 monthly meeting. She said a state DEC permit had been obtained for the work and a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers was expected by the end of August. The “final step,” she said, would be a permit from the New York State Department of State.

The goal of the project is to reduce flooding on Hempstead Street and to provide easier maintenance access to a filtration system designed to capture bacteria and petrochemicals before they reach the beach, where runoff from a bowl-shaped 133 acres of upland drains into Shelter Island Sound. The filtration system was installed in 2013, buried under a road along the south edge of the beach, but the village Department of Public Works hasn’t been able to change the filters because of the extremely heavy access door to the filter chamber.

The project calls for installing a lighter access door that on-hand village equipment can be used to open. Also it will see a second, larger pipe installed between the outfall of a catch basin on Hempstead Street and the open drainage ditch or dreen that carries runoff across open ground to the beach. The pipe will allow runoff in heavy rains to bypass the filtration system, preventing what has been chronic flooding on Hempstead Street ever since the system was installed.

Work should begin in late fall and be completed “hopefully in time for the start of the 2020 season,” Ms. Lund said. The grant “we think will cover the majority of the work,” she said, with the only uncertainty being the cost of labor for cutting back the phragmites that choke the dreen that runs through the upload south of the beach.

Her slide show was identical to the presentation she gave to the Harbor Committee in June, shortly before it voted to support the project as consistent with the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP).