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May 15, 2019 9:37 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County Officially Transfers Ownership of Shinnecock Commercial Dock To Southampton Town

The commercial fishing dock in Hampton Bays.  DANA SHAW
May 15, 2019 10:04 AM

Southampton Town officials no longer have to jump through hoops in order to have a loose or rotted plank repaired along the Shinnecock commercial dock in Hampton Bays.

On Tuesday, Suffolk County officially signed over full ownership of the commercial fishing dock to the Town of Southampton, according to a press release. Additionally, the transfer included an 11-acre stretch of beachfront along Shinnecock Bay just west of the dock.

Prior to the transfer, the costs of repairing or upgrading the dock were evenly split between the town and the county. Under an inter-municipal agreement, signed by both parties in 2002, any repairs or upgrades required approvals from both town and county officials.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, who co-owns a commercial fishing boat with her husband, Raymond Lofstad, explained that the added layers of government approval only complicated things.

“It’s tough when you have someone who owns something, and the town who is doing the maintenance—it makes things difficult,” she said. “If you’re a slip renter and you see there is a hole in the dock, who do you call?”

She added that the transfer will help to alleviate those concerns: “It makes everyone feel more at ease moving forward.”

The state passed legislation authorizing the county to hand the 2-acre dock and beachfront over to the town back in August 2018. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle co-sponsored the legislation, which was required since the property is located on parkland.

According to a Southampton Town press release, the Shinnecock dock is home to more than two dozen commercial fishing boats, including Ms. Lofstad’s vessel, Ocean Fresh. The release referred to it as “one of the largest commercial fishing fleets in New York.”

Ms. Lofstad was elated to hear the news on Tuesday. “As a slip holder, I’m very happy,” she said. “It shows that Southampton Town is continuing to support the commercial fishing industry.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman agreed, noting that the town’s commercial fishing fleet is a “vital part” of the municipality’s economy and history.

The town has already begun planning the dock’s rehabilitation, starting with replacing the bulkhead and installing electrical infrastructure upgrades, according to the press release.

A ceremonial transfer of the deed is scheduled for June 28.

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Of course there will be a ceremony. Nothing gets by Jay without a photo-op.
By A Great American (82), East Quogue on May 15, 19 5:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
They maintain things?
By bb (878), Hampton Bays on May 16, 19 8:07 PM
Kudos to the town board for making this happen. Ownership of Docks and Bayfront land equals huge win for community.
By Summer Resident (232), Southampton Town, NY on May 17, 19 12:18 AM
Another hole in the water for money to go into..... Two maybe three employees to run it. What is the average income and expenses for the project...
The town tried to run it years ago... Wasn't very successful then...
By knitter (1692), Southampton on May 17, 19 1:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Another hole in the water for money to go into..... Two maybe three employees to run it. What is the average income and expenses for the project...
The town tried to run it years ago... Wasn't very successful then...
By knitter (1692), Southampton on May 17, 19 1:30 PM
Yeah right....vital part of local economy..."commercial fishing"..give me a break please....that place is one of the ugliest that I see out here...maybe is good for the Lofstads....we are going to pay for their dock maintenance 100% from now.
By dany (31), Water Mill on May 18, 19 6:46 AM
We need the fishermen and the products the harvest. Don't need the TOWN putting their nose in there. They tried before and FAILED....
By knitter (1692), Southampton on May 21, 19 6:58 PM
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