At Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board meeting, it became clear that not one member of the village board had a mastery of the finances surrounding the Havens Beach Remediation Project.
For that reason, and that reason alone, we believe it is time for the village board to receive a full accounting of the project from village treasurer Eileen Tuohy. If after that presentation there are still questions, then the project should be audited by the county or state comptroller, but only then.
This has been a project many (but not all) have championed for literal decades. We have praised this village board for moving forward with a remediation of this drainage ditch after years of indecision, despite annual complaints by residents and continued calls by Peconic BayKeeper Kevin MacAllister to improve water quality at our only bathing beach.
That being said, this is now a project that has gone over-budget and that is material ripe for public conversation and scrutiny. We think it would also be a worthy to explore in public discussions what potential improvements, if any, need to be made to this project to ensure drainage concerns of neighboring residents are met. We’d also like to know what the long-term maintenance (and ensuing costs) of this project will be. Is water quality testing being performed by the village or an outside agency looking at the effectiveness of this project?
In particular we call for a discussion about the long-term care of this dreen because at the end of the day we want to ensure this project is upgraded and maintained as necessary to protect our bathing beach from storm water runoff and the potential of excessive bacteria.
It would be nice to begin next summer without second guessing a trip to the beach.