The Suffolk County Legislature agreed on Tuesday to extend the Village of Sag Harbor’s lease of Long Wharf through December of this year. According to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, the county will likely still transfer the iconic wharf’s ownership to the village some time in the next year once Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone as well as a majority of the county legislature signs off on the purchase.
“I think we have a new county executive who will deal with this issue,” said Schneiderman on Tuesday. “But I do believe the Long Wharf will be transferred to Sag Harbor before the end of the calendar year. There was opposition on the legislature in the past, but I believe we now have the support. We have already signed off on giving the village Windmill Beach and right now I am just waiting to attend that ribbon cutting ceremony.”
The ownership of Long Wharf has been up for debate since last year, when then Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy pushed for the county to hand the village the wharf, as well as the capital costs that come with maintaining Long Wharf. According to Schneiderman, while the new county executive is still reviewing a potential purchase, for as little as $1, by the Village of Sag Harbor, Tuesday’s resolution was meant to remove any hurdles the now approved Peconic Bay Water Jitney would have to lease Long Wharf from Sag Harbor for a pilot season this summer.
“By doing this, the county is now out of the permitting part of that process,” said Schneiderman. “We will not be in charge of deciding where that passenger ferry docks on Long Wharf and the village is free to set the dockage fees.”
Both Sag Harbor and Greenport villages have agreed to allow the Hampton Jitney to operate the Peconic Bay Water Taxi for one summer season this year at a cost of $12,000 apiece to study the success and impact of a passenger ferry service connecting the North and South forks.