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Permanent relief for Bridge Street, Chamber pitches restroom

COURTESY PHOTO | JULIE LANE PHOTO The Town Board at Tuesday’s work session discussed a Chamber of Commerce proposal for a permanent restroom In Volunteer Park.

COURTESY PHOTO | JULIE LANE PHOTO
The Town Board at Tuesday’s work session discussed a Chamber of Commerce proposal for a permanent restroom In Volunteer Park.

A project to build a permanent pubic restroom in Volunteer Park on Bridge Street was presented to the Town Board at its work session Tuesday.

Chamber of Commerce President Art Williams said that a Suffolk County grant might be secured to partially fund the restroom that would have running water and electricity. If the grant is received, the balance of the $117,000 project could be picked up by the Chamber and the town.

The present situation, with a town-installed Porta Potty located at the parking area of the town dock on Bridge Street, “is not sufficient” and “can’t be used at times because it’s literally full” and is “disgusting,” Mr. Williams said.

There is “broad support” from business owners along Bridge Street and Grand Avenue for a permanent fix, Mr. Williams said.

The plan is to install a pre-fabricated structure with a footprint of 12 feet by 10 feet, which would have a water source from the Dory running under the bridge. The total cost would be covered by the county grant of $65,000, the Chamber providing $32,000 and the town paying $20,000.

If the grant is secured and permits issued, it would be a town project, Mr. Williams said, with the Highway Department in charge of maintenance.

The deadline to submit an application to the county for the grant is June 22.
Councilwoman Chris Lewis said she was “pleased to see the Chamber coming up with this idea,” noting that rest room services have been a problem for years in the area and “this might be the time to invest in a solution.”

In other business: Supervisor Jim Dougherty said PSEG has requested to meet with the board at next week’s work session “to give us an estimate of future power needs.”

The power company wants to discuss “options,” Mr. Dougherty said, including renewing a power cable from Southold to Crescent Beach or possible substation sites on the Island.

Councilman Ed Brown was adamantly against building a substation here, as was Ms. Lewis. Councilman Paul Shepherd said more information was needed. “How do we make a decision in a vacuum of information?” he asked.

The board returned to an application from residents of a home at 4-D Peconic Avenue who have been seeking permission to replace an existing three-bedroom home with a larger one. Last week the board suggested a new plan and the residents sent one to the town on Monday.

The issue has been before the board for weeks, with infringement on wetlands a concern.

The discussion Tuesday turned on intrusions in regulated areas that extend from wetlands. Town Attorney Laury Dowd said that in the past the board had allowed structures that are in regulated areas.

Mr. Shepherd agreed, noting with “significant expansions, it now all comes down to a square footage issue” on making judgments allowing applications. Turning down the present application would be a matter of, Mr. Shepherd said, “to suggest that it’s rape only when a virgin is involved.”

The board heard from Mike Scheibel, chairman of the Deer & Tick Committee, asking the board to pass a resolution to do away with the $1 permit fee hunters pay to access town-managed lands. The cost is not the problem, Mr. Scheibel said, but hunters have said applying for the permit is a nuisance and, Mr. Scheibel said, “it serves no purpose.”

Resident Richard Kelly suggested it was a good way to get data on the number of hunters in the field.
Mr. Scheibel countered there were other ways of getting data and doing away with the permit “is one small way to make it a little easier that somebody will shoot deer.”

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