By Kathryn G. Menu
Poxabogue Golf Course will soon become solely the property of Southampton Town, after the New York State Assembly passed legislation last Thursday allowing the town to purchase half of the golf center from East Hampton Town.
It is the second time in the last year the state has agreed to allow the purchase of the golf center, according to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. The legislation allows East Hampton Town to sell its portion of Poxabogue, located on Montauk Highway in Sagaponack, to Southampton.
On Tuesday, Thiele said he expects approval from the state senate and Governor Andrew Cuomo in the next month.
East Hampton and Southampton Town jointly purchased the Poxabogue Golf Course property in 2004 in an effort to stave off development of the two parcels on which the center is located. Southampton Town used Community Preservation Fund (CPF) monies — gathered from a two-percent real estate transfer tax — to buy its share of the land, while East Hampton used monies from its general fund as the property lies just west of town boundaries.
The legislation was originally initiated in 2011 in an effort by East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson to help balance the town’s finances. In October of that year, the town board accepted a $2.2 million offer by Southampton Town, as well as about $200,000 — half of the monies collected by golfing fees at the time.
The legislation by the state was necessary, said Thiele on Tuesday, because it constituted a transfer of parkland. In 2012, the legislature and the governor signed off on the deal, however, said Thiele, it was revealed a description of the property was inaccurate — describing it as one parcel rather than two and necessitating a new bill by the state.
According to Thiele, the $2.4 million East Hampton Town will collect from the sale will have to be used for preservation purposes, typical of this kind of sale despite the fact that no actual parkland will be lost as a result of the deal.
“It’s a good deal that has been a long time coming,” said Thiele on Tuesday. “No parkland is lost, which is something the state has recognized in approving this legislation.”