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Town: Crescent, Wades beach bathroom projects underway

Operation of a revamped bathroom at Crescent Beach could be an expensive proposition, Town Engineer John Cronin told his colleagues at a recent meeting of the Capital Planning/Grants Committee.

Plans for the bathroom being designed by Sherman Engineering have changed from the time the project was first conceived. Among the changes has been locating the new structure in the same place where the current bathroom stands to avoid interfering with a PSEG line that runs close to the building. In addition, a porch on the structure that was originally designed to face the water has been changed to turn it away from the shoreline to pass muster with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Keeping the basic structure in the same location requires only a minor change, Public Works Commissioner Brian Sherman said.

What could be an issue is whether to substitute a tank that would have to be emptied in place of a nitrogen-reducing I/A (Innovative/Alternative) nitrogen-reducing septic system. Mr. Cronin has consistently maintained that the I/A system is the preferable option.

At the Feb. 4 meeting, he pointed out the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Wastewater Management Office required a tank that can take at least 600 gallons of waste per day. During the summer season, Mr. Cronin argued, it could have to be pumped out more than once a week.

The bathroom at Wades Beach last fall. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

A similar tank system is used at Volunteer Park, but use there is less, the engineer said.

It’s up to town officials to estimate the size of the tank that could be needed at Crescent Beach, how often it would need to be pumped out, and what the cost would be, Mr. Cronin said.

“We all need to get on the same page,” Supervisor Gerry Siller advised, telling the committee it must provide an estimate of charges for pumping a tank at the beach. Only then could the Town Board make a decision about which system to use.

At Wades Beach, the inside of the bathroom has been gutted and a new building will be in place by Memorial Day this year, Councilman Jim Colligan said. The structure will provide a men’s bathroom, a women’s bathroom and a storage area for equipment so disabled people can reach the water in a specially designed wheelchair. A similar system is already in place at Crescent Beach.

The features in the interior of the bathrooms at Wades Beach are to be stainless steel and a roof matching the pavilion roof is planned.