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May 1, 2012 2:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue Civic Discusses Marina, Cell Tower At Spring Meeting

May 2, 2012 9:03 AM

Members of the East Quogue Civic Association discussed at length on Saturday morning Southampton Town’s decision to utilize this summer, and for the immediate future, a hamlet marina that was recently purchased with Community Preservation Fund money.

Al Algieri, the president of the East Quogue Civic Association, told the estimated 50 people in attendance for the spring meeting of his organization that he has sought the preservation of the marina for quite some time in order to protect nearby Weesuck Creek and Shinnecock Bay. When the town purchased the 14-slip marina as a part of a 27-acre wooded parcel off Josiah Foster Path from William Swan for $5.4 million late last year, Mr. Algieri said he was under the impression that the marina would cease operating. Now, he fears that its continued operation will pollute the waters off East Quogue.

“We have no idea why the town wants to be in the marina business,” Mr. Algieri said during Saturday’s meeting, held inside the East Quogue United Methodist Church. “I cannot say conclusively what will happen there, but this investment does not make sense.”

But other members of the civic association said they did not oppose the town’s decision to continue operating a small marina at the site for the foreseeable future.

“I am pro-marina,” said East Quogue resident Nick Contos, who lives across the street from the marina but does not keep a boat there. “There have been boats in that marina for as long as I can remember.”

According to Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst’s office, there are no plans to make any changes to the marina, and the community will be involved in the process if changes are deemed necessary.

“Please be assured that the community will be consulted at the earliest stage of the planning process regarding the creation of a management plan for this newly acquired CPF parcel and the marina it contains,” Ms. Throne-Holst wrote in an email this week “It is certainly my hope that together we can craft a plan that local residents will strongly endorse.”

Another resident, Joseph Fratello, who sits on the East Quogue Civic Association’s Board of Directors, agreed that having a marina is a good thing. He later added that the town needs to bring the facility up to code first.

“The town has to play by the rules,” Mr. Fratello said. “I am in favor of marinas. I’m in favor of private marinas. We have to stick up for each other and protect each other.”

When pressed on his stance, Mr. Algieri said that if the marina was brought up to code, which he has not yet seen plans for, he would be willing to change his opinion. Mr. Algieri is alleging that the septic system for the facility is nearly three decades old and that contaminants could be infiltrating the bay. He also noted that the marina dock features pressure-treated wood that contains arsenic and other chemicals, adding that such wood was banned by the town years ago.

According to Jennifer Garvey, a spokeswoman for Ms. Throne-Holst, it remains unclear if the marina is up to code.

“The community will be involved in any plans to decide what happens next with the marina,” Ms. Garvey said this week. “They have only opened it for this summer in the fashion it has been operated in the past.”

If the town eventually addresses his issues, Mr. Algieri said there is no reason for it not to continue operating a marina at the site. “Then we would have to look at it,” he said. “We would have to be in favor of it.”

At the same meeting, association members discussed the proposed cellphone tower that the East Quogue Fire District and T-Mobile have been hoping to install behind the main firehouse on Montauk Highway. Members of the group, and many hamlet residents, are opposed to the tower. The town has not yet ruled on the application.

In March, the Southampton Town Planning Board approved the pre-submission report for the cell tower, giving the applicant, T-Mobile, up to one year to file a formal application that addresses concerns outlined in the report prepared by the board. T-Mobile has until March 2013 to file a formal application with the Planning Board.

T-Mobile wants to install a 100-foot-tall monopole behind the main firehouse and would pay several thousand dollars a month in rent to the fire district, which supports the application mostly because it will be allowed to attach its own emergency communication antenna to the tower. Fire officials have said the most economical option to solve communication blackout issues in the hamlet among emergency responders is to allow T-Mobile to install the tower.

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Mr Algieri will vote against the tower and then be the first to yell when fire trucks are a minute late. Also, in case Al hasn't noticed East Quogue is a bayfront community and a marina is a good idea.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 1, 12 9:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Having attended the civic meeting, all had the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns. I do not always agree with Mr. Algieri, but he is one of the few who has stepped up to the plate about important issues in this community. Many who reside in EQ can't even take the time to vote on issues of importance. The fire budget, school budget, etc. These same residents whine about everything and are being hypocritical by not voting. The cell tower issue is less about the lack of communication ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on May 2, 12 7:11 AM