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Businesses at the beach: Town Board to consider bumping up fees to operate

The Bonheur Spa operation that has been working out of the Sunset Beach Hotel, setting up on Crescent Beach, wants to return this year with a number of changes to comply with safety measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner Alexson Roy told the Town Board at its Tuesday work session he plans to set up two 10-foot by 10-foot tents and use plastic screens between tables that will be cleaned between customers for massages, plus rigorous social distancing for those making appointments and waiting.

Noting the many years of successful operations at the site, Police Chief Jim Read said it’s important to work with those who want to do business on the Island. Supervisor Gerry Siller had said previously he had his doubts about the operation during the pandemic but said Tuesday he wouldn’t stand in the way of approving the operation.

The Town Board plans to raise fees for businesses operating on town-owned land. Councilman Jim Colligan said it could be $250 for this summer, $350 for next summer and $400 for the third summer.

Resident Susan Williams suggested a higher fee for a business operation like Bonheur while charging a lower fee for operations such as Kayak Shelter Island.

A second applicant, Jamie Hook, representing Bike-In Cinema, made his case for an event that would help raise money to support the rebuilt Sag Harbor Cinema by showing a film on Shelter Island, perhaps at Wades Beach.

The plan calls for a mobile van to bring a small generator, portable screen, sound system and projector to screen a “family friendly” film this summer. People could bike to the site and if there’s concern about them leaving on their bikes after dark, arrangements could be made for them to travel home with those who come in cars while their bikes are locked at the site for pickup the following day.

Mr. Hook described the operation as a nonprofit and said both Sag Harbor and Southampton plan showings this summer.

The need for a project manager has become front and center in the town’s effort to deal with its water crisis. Failure to take action would affect the Water Advisory Committee’s efforts to implement its Ground and Surface Water Management Plan.

Town Engineer Joe Finora told the board that a project manager is needed to begin the work of implementing the plan. Councilman Mike Bebon said a good manager might be able to handle both the water plan and ongoing community housing proposals.