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Jul 14, 2015 5:25 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Secures Permission To Connect With Gabreski Sewer System

Jul 15, 2015 12:45 PM

The Westhampton Beach Village Board took another step this week in its long journey to eventually install a sewer district in the downtown area.

On Monday, the Suffolk County Sewer Agency approved the village’s request to reserve 50,000 gallons of daily sewage capacity at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport sewage treatment facility.

Because the village has not yet had a formal review of its plan to ensure that it is in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, the agency’s approval is only for “conceptual capacity,” meaning the village could not actually hook up to the system without getting additional approval from the agency.

The Village Board voted in March to authorize Mayor Maria Moore to make the request to reserve the sewage capacity in case Westhampton Beach eventually opts to link up to the county system. Previously, the mayor and board members have said that the space would be needed to allow new restaurants to open on Main Street while also providing additional protection to nearby Moniebogue Bay.

Ms. Moore wrote in an email this week that securing the capacity was simply a preliminary step in the process, adding that the village would need to consider costs, available funding and community input before making a final decision on whether or not to move forward with the hook-up.

The village’s next step will be to seek bids from engineering firms, and have a map and plan drafted to detail how it would go about connecting to the county system, according to Ms. Moore. The village also needs to learn where sewer lines and pump stations would have to be installed, as well as how much the project would cost overall.

In addition to covering installation fees, which are unknown at this time, the village would have to pay a one-time fee of $1.5 million—or $30 per gallon of sewage space it wants to reserve—to hook up to the system.

Currently, the county facility can handle up to 100,000 gallons of sewage a day. Suffolk officials, however, are now considering expanding the facility’s capacity so it can handle up to 150,000 gallons daily.

Once the village selects a bid for the sewer map and plan, Ms. Moore said the board will go to the county to seek help to pay for them.

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The WHB community needs to keep an eye on this process. The ultimate cost could approach $60 to $75 million that could be passed onto the tax payers. Its been said the Mayor might try designate the area as a "business improvement" district where the taxpayers "might" have no say in the matter. If the Mayor and Trustees think sewers will bring people into this town after the summer months they are breathing too many toxic fumes from the current nitrogen in the Bays. The current restaurants and stores ...more
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 15, 15 8:54 PM
What stores, other than the blighted properties managed by Slum Lords or criminals are and remain empty, Realistic?
By beachbme11978 (78), Westhampton Beach on Jul 15, 15 10:54 PM
There is no such thing as a bullet proof sewage treatment plant and experts say that they are only as good as the amount of money you spend on them. Sewage treatment plants suffer from human, electrical and mechanical failure. The plant in Riverhead discharged millions of gallons of partially treated sewage this winter into the Peconic River due to mechanical failure. Search for an article titled "Riverhead cited for discharging partially treated sewage into Peconic Bay in November" which begins ...more
By Moneybogue (37), Westhampton Beach on Jul 17, 15 7:22 PM
Where do you think the sewage goes now? What expert are you quoting a sewage plant is only as good as the money you put into it? Treatment facility's are used all over Suffolk county and are much better for the environment. Do you realize Main Street septic systems are sitting in ground water. Westhampton needs a treatment facility to thrive and property values will rise. The property values lag behind the rest of the Hamptons because there is nothing here except ice cream and real estates. A sewer ...more
By Remsen (68), Southampton on Jul 19, 15 10:55 AM
Remsen- no doubt a sewer system would be beneficial but before you talk look at the costs. Are you a taxpayer of WHB? Do you know the cost? I do. Sag Harbor was built in the early 1970s- 40yrs ago. Sewer systems will not bring full time residents to WHB. Jobs will. do your research first.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Jul 19, 15 10:08 PM