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Environmental concerns spur Causeway acquisition: Town and County to share the $1 million cost

The Town Board is poised to approve acquisition with Community Preservation Funds of a 9.74-acre site along the First Causeway.

It’s a $1 million transaction to be shared equally with Suffolk County.

The site, known as the Liberti property directly north of Coecles Harbor, has been eyed by the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board since 2012, CPF Chairman Gordon Gooding told Town Board members at its Sept. 20 work session.

At high tide, some of the site is actually under water, Mr. Gooding said. But the need to acquire it is to avoid the chance of it being purchased by someone who would want to build a house away from the flood area, but in an environmentally sensitive area.

There is already another house along the Causeway; a second would be a threat to fragile marsh areas, Mr. Gooding said. He noted there are other small parcels along the Causeway, but said they are not build-able.

The parcel to be acquired is in the same area as the site being used for shellfish restoration.

CPF members voted 6-0 to recommend the acquisition to the Town Board. “It’s a decent bang for the buck,” Councilman Jim Colligan said.