A sign that leaning against a car outside the Old Noyac School house during the monthly meeting of the Noyac Civic Council on Saturday.
By Mara Certic
The Old Noyac Schoolhouse was packed on Saturday morning for the monthly meeting of the Noyac Civic Council.
Bob Malafronte and Barry Holden—the only two Southampton residents on East Hampton Town’s airport noise committee—provided an update on the restrictions at the airport and the season thus far.
Mr. Malafronte, who lives near Long Pond, said that so far this year, the air traffic in his neighborhood has been horrendous. “As usual, Southampton Town is getting beaten to a pulp,” he said.
The two men explained the current status of restrictions East Hampton Town wants to place on the airport, which are on hold until a federal judge makes a decision on them, which has been postponed until June 26. They also discussed recent developments surrounding the airport, including U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s recent amendment to a bill which prohibits the FAA from taking action against the Town of East Hampton. But they also spent time opining about what has gone wrong and what could.
Both Mr. Holden and Mr. Malafronte said they were disappointed when Southampton Town officials called for caution and asked their neighbors to the east to study the impact the restrictions could have on nearby airports at a public hearing in March.
“It’s been a struggle getting the two towns to coordinate and for them to really support us in Southampton,” said Mr. Holden, who added that the Southampton Town Board had “undermined” the efforts of those fighting for quieter skies.
Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who was sitting in the back of the meeting room, apparently unnoticed, had a different take on what had happened.
“That’s insulting and a little offensive to those of us on the town board,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “We had several concerns and we, in a unified voice, said we needed to know what the impact to other areas of town would be,” she said, adding that management at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton and Montauk Airport had voiced their concerns, too.
“Our concern is that we need to find a solution that is a far different one, and we need to work with the FAA and our federal officials,” the supervisor said, adding that she is still determined to work with the FAA to get approval for a circular approach route over Orient Point, which she said would alleviate some of the noise.
“Every resort area in the country that has small local airports is dealing with this issue today,” she said, naming regions of Florida, California and Colorado. “The FAA simply has to come into the 21st century on this,” she said.
“It’s really important that things don’t happen here that can’t be reversed. That’s what we were concerned with,” she said. “It’s a very delicate piece of governance.”
Mr. Holden and Mr. Malafronte said they were starting a citizen’s group of those in favor of shushing the airport to include residents from both the North and South forks. One Noyacker suggested they organize a public protest.
Diane Hewett, vice-president of the Noyac Civic Council, read a letter from the organization’s president, Elena Loreto, about ongoing issues with the Sand Land mine on Millstone Road. Ms. Loreto, who was away for Saturday’s meeting, wrote in her letter that the state Department of Environmental Conservation had taken samples from a drainage pool on the mine property, the results of which should be ready in five to six weeks.
She said that monitoring wells were being installed on town-owned land nearby, but the difference in grade between that land and the mined property means the test wells might not garner any surprising results. They will finish drilling and begin sampling in the next few weeks, she added.
Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle that would require test wells on the site of mining operations recently passed unanimously in the Assembly. Ms. Loreto said in her letter that she hopes it will pass in the Senate before the end of the session in a fortnight.
“We need to keep the pressure on,” she added.
Residents of Wildwood Road provided an update on their problem: the Noyac Golf Course. For years homeowners have complained of work that goes on at the golf course at the end of their road, and in recent months the noise, smell and business has only gotten worse, they say.
“It’s a pattern of bad behavior that’s making Wildwood Road an undesirable place to live and raise a family,” said one resident.
Supervisor Throne-Holst said that her office was aware of the problem, had issued a stop-work order and was doing its best to get the golf course to comply. She recommended that if anyone saw any work going on there that they call her office immediately.