We applaud the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees and the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce this week for working cooperatively to find a solution to open bathrooms in the Municipal Building on weekend days, after years of impediment.
Business is booming on Main Street, Sag Harbor. It’s busier this year than it has been in some time — for better and for worse.
For many year round residents it is about this time in August that fatigue sets in — the traffic, the parking, the risking one’s life at each and every crosswalk becomes overwhelming as many of us work harder than we do at any other time of the year to ensure those visiting us, on a regular basis or for the first time, have many reasons to come back next season. But despite that, at the end of the day this is a time of year we need. It sustains us through what can be a long winter. While there are reasonable barriers to what businesses can accomplish — seating limitations at local restaurants, for example — the closing of the only public bathroom facilities on Main Street during weekend days puts an egregious burden on retail stores reluctant to open their bathrooms, and therefore sometimes their private offices and books, to patrons streaming down Main Street.
We understand the Municipal Building has sensitive data, including from its justice court, housed in its walls. The concerns inherent with opening up the vestibule that hosts the public bathrooms are not without warrant, but we believe the solution the chamber of commerce has brokered with members of the village board has a truly viable chance of staving off not only theft but vandalism common with public bathrooms.
With the addition of an on-site attendant, paid for not by taxpayers but the chamber of commerce, we believe both businesses and the village will be better served during the remainder of this season. While there are public facilities on Bay Street, the geography —and sheer volume of visitors — demands a Main Street option.
We are pleased to see the village and the chamber working together to make that a reality.