Harbor Committee Wants Waterfront Revenue Earmarked

Posted on 12 February 2010

This week Sag Harbor Harbor Committee Chairman Bruce Tait formally requested the village board to keep his committee in the loop as trustees continue to work towards possible remediation at Sag Harbor’s Havens Beach. The committee also wondered if some of the monies generated by the village’s harbors and docks should not be earmarked towards projects along the village waterfront.

Over the last two years, village officials and the Peconic BayKeeper have been working towards determining the water quality at Havens, announcing earlier this winter that bacterial levels in the drainage ditch, and occasionally at the beach, next to the beach exceed county health standards. Bacteria attributed to animal and human waste was detected in DNA tests completed by the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Riverhead.

According to Tait, committee member Brian Halweil has been working with the village’s grant writer, who is searching for grants that may be used for a remediation at the beach, although village officials are still determining the right course of action at Havens.

Sag Harbor village planning consultant Rich Warren told the committee the village has reached out to Southampton and East Hampton towns in an attempt to clean the stormwater runoff drains throughout the village, and his firm has been researching inserts that may filter the runoff before it reaches the ditch. Testing of the water at Havens is also ongoing.

Tait said he would like to see a management plan set up for the stormwater runoff drains in Sag Harbor, and one that includes more regular cleaning. That the towns only lend the village the proper vehicles for such a task, he added, is “woefully inadequate.”

“I know now the dockage fees all go into the general fund,” said Peters. “Maybe now it is time to start thinking about taking a percentage.”

Peters said he would like to explore using some of the monies generated by the village’s harbors and docks towards projects like remediation at Havens Beach and addressing stormwater runoff issues in general in Sag Harbor.

“I know we have to get further along on the human contaminant issue [at Havens], but I don’t know if we need any more testing to start addressing stormwater runoff issues in the village,” agreed Tait.

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