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Sep 15, 2015 5:41 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Asks Homeowners To Help Fund Dune Road Raising

Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is asking Dune Road homeowners to help pay to raise Dune Road. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Sep 16, 2015 10:21 AM

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst recently pitched a plan to homeowners along Dune Road in East Quogue and Hampton Bays that would require them to pay 25 percent of the estimated $9 million cost of raising the flood-prone highway.

The Tiana Beach Erosion Control Tax District Advisory Committee sent a letter to the homeowners late last month, asking that they meet with her on Sunday, September 6, at the Dockers Waterside Marina and Restaurant on Dune Road in East Quogue. The letter read, in part, that the meeting would “focus almost exclusively on the issue of resolving the flooding issues we have been confronting on Dune Road for many years.”

At the gathering, which was attended by at least 30 people, Ms. Throne-Holst said she shared a plan where Suffolk County—which is responsible for the road’s upkeep—would pick up roughly 50 percent of the project, leaving the town and Dune Road homeowners to pay about 25 percent each, or $2.25 million, respectively.

Ms. Throne-Holst said homeowners have until mid-December to commit to the project and allow a nonprofit homeowner’s association to collect the necessary funds and deposit them into a bank account, which would then be transfered to the town. There are no plans as to what will happen if homeowners do not commit to the project.

“We will cross that bridge when we get to it,” she said. “This is a great opportunity, and I think people will commit.”

Ms. Throne-Holst also noted that the town has applied for a $1.5 million grant through the state to help fund some of the work to raise the road by an estimated 18 inches. The work would focus on the stretch of highway from Quogue Village to the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.

“I think there was a great deal of interest,” Ms. Throne-Holst said on Monday. “Many of us share the idea that this is a proactive and tangible approach to this.”

But two homeowners in attendance, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, said they do not understand why homeowners are being asked to fund part of the cost of raising a county road.

“I think the town, with Tiana Beach generating a large portion of the traffic, should pay more for it,” said one East Quogue resident. “Even though we use it a bit more, when you consider the multiple numbers of people who use it to go to the beach, it just doesn’t seem right.”

Ideally, the supervisor said work on raising Dune Road could begin early next year, so it is completed prior to next summer.

Town officials are still working to secure federal money for the work through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but have not yet heard back.

“We were hoping that the Army Corps would have adopted [raising Dune Road] into their project list, but we’ve had no indication that they will so,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “This is an attempt at doing a public approach to get the project completed.”

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Maybe they should all just get a 4" lift on their Mercedes and Lexus SUVs...
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 16, 15 7:58 AM
Is ATH serious?

Preservation and protection of the barrier beach should be a priority of the Town, the County, the State and the Federal Governments -- WITHOUT the creation of a special tax district!

Without the barrier beach fully viable and in place, what happens to the Bays when they become part of the Atlantic is that shell fishing, among other things, is DEAD!

The comment about Mercedes and Lexus SUVs is silly and uninformed -- and more appropriate for the West End ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 16, 15 9:01 AM
"There's not many "luxury homes" in that stretch!"

WHAT are you talking about? Every home is "Luxury" save for a couple remnant beach shacks.

Also, the point of the special taxing district is that preservation and protection of the barrier beach is MORE expensive and MORE difficult with homes and condos in the way because they want their structures protected - thus the special taxing districts.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 16, 15 9:58 AM
I don't think you've ever been on that section of Dune Road if you really think "every home is 'Luxury' save for a couple remnant beach shacks."

They're not talking about Quogue, Westhampton Beach or that ridiculous "McMansionville" just East of Cupsogue Beach. The section ATH is referencing is primarily "remnant beach shacks" as you term them, plus duck blinds and marshes. Go take a ride between the Ponquogue Bridge and the old Coast Guard station at Tiana -- where are the "Luxury" homes?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 16, 15 1:08 PM

I drove down that stretch of road yesterday and rode my bike down it this morning. Between Ponquogue Bridge and Tiana Beach is precisely where there used to be an inlet -- you can see it on older maps that pre-date the '38 Hurricane -- and is where there was an extensive washover during Sandy. There is no holding back the ocean there. Old timers (and surfers) call it "Bunker Beach" because the bunker shoal up there to this day, thinking there's still an inlet...and where are the ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 16, 15 3:58 PM
Of some of town's most valuable assets are the town beaches, ability to access and view the beautiful scenic landscape which includes the dune scapes, marshlands / wetlands - birding, duck hunting, fishing ect.

To be able to enjoy these assets without your vehicle's undercarriage taking a destructive salt water bath is a valuable benefit in my opinion. One salt water soaking and your vehicle will never be the same no matter how quickly you try and rinse the corrosive salt.

You ...more
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on Sep 17, 15 1:08 AM
Frank - Quogue Village doesn't start until a bit west of Dockers. There are 40 "mansions" or "luxury" homes in Hampton Bays and East Quogue, a handful of shacks (which I'm sure would sell for well over $750,000, and Round Dune. Learn your geography.

Who do you think the homeowners in the special tax district are? Where do you think they live? In those 40 homes, plus Round Dune.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 17, 15 9:22 AM
"Without the barrier beach fully viable and in place, what happens to the Bays when they become part of the Atlantic is that shell fishing, among other things, is DEAD!"
This is absolutely incorrect. The largest sets of shellfish in the bay's have come after a breech of the barrier beach during or after hurricanes. Also, for those interested, against popular belief it is the BAY that breaks through the barrier beach not the ocean. The massive amount of rainfall raises the level of the bay which ...more
By Moneybogue (37), Westhampton Beach on Sep 20, 15 10:40 AM
just fix the road-the whole town benefits
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Sep 16, 15 9:08 AM
Funny that I got an email from Lee Zeldin on raising the road two months ago. Now it's an issue...This is a new problem? This has been going on for over 30 years. It's completely unpassable at times. You don't know if you're on a road or heading into the marsh. At night, forget it. Dangerous.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 15 9:24 AM
.... this is not an attempt to do a "public approach" (whatever that means), it is an attempt to fleece the taxpayers. FYI Anna, if you don't repair the road, no one will be able to get to that bridge you talk about crossing.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Sep 16, 15 9:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
SH Town is hoarding $1 BILLION in the home sales excise tax preservation fund. And it's in the hands of a bunch of corrupt, inept, self-serving politicians. Start spreading it around the roads NOW, to start. Greenport put in new public docks, outdoor theater and beautiful park, merry go round, and many more tasteful town improvements instead of hoarding.
By Non-Political (125), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 15 2:50 PM
No the town is not. Please educate yourself on CPF. The Town has NOT collected nearly $1 Billion since the inception of CPF. ALL of the CPF programs (the 5 east end towns) have accumulated nearly $1 Billion since the start. The money has all been spent, save for maybe the most recent $20,000,000 the Town has earned and the Town has debt service to pay, and employees to pay, and more land to buy.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 17, 15 9:25 AM
This is why Southampton has a surplus, because they dpend no money on necessities!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 16, 15 10:00 PM
The CPF is not there to be spent on road repair.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 17, 15 6:19 AM
... the Town pays down it's debt and pays employees with CPF money, Nature?
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Sep 17, 15 3:10 PM

I meant debt service and employees related to CPF. Sorry for the confusion.

The Town has taken out bonds over the years to pay for land when there wasn't enough money in the coffers to cover the costs. Therefore, the Town has to pay these bonds backs and uses CPF funds for re-payment.

Additionally, they employee 4 people whose salaries can be paid for with CPF funds
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 18, 15 10:24 AM
I don't understand how raising the road improves the quality of wetlands next to the road. The dozen or so duck blinds, if there are that many in this area, don't require a car to get to them, most hunters use a small boat.

I also don't understand why tax dollars need to be spent so that owners of $20 million homes, many of which were built in the last 10 years since the town passed on acquiring the ocean side acreage to the West of Hot Dog Beach, don't get salt water on the underside ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 18, 15 10:07 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on Sep 19, 15 1:35 AM
Davidf - The engineers have contemplated the efect on wetlands and have engineered a way for the tides that now flood the road to have a way of making its way to the wetlands through some sort of under ground/road system.

Raising the road with the plans contemplated, which have already received DEC approval and is "shovel ready" would have more of a benefit to the wetlands adjacent to the road that exist today.
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on Sep 19, 15 1:35 AM
I was at the public meeting of the Hampton Bays Civic Association that discussed cutting through from the ocean to the bay with "some sort of under ground/road system". It was decided in an open forum with a panel of 10 experts including highly experienced civil engineers that this was not going to work. And the tide still makes it over the road now, about 4 days a month during the full moon at night. So the only benefit is, again, less salt on the underside of cars using a wet road. Get an ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 20, 15 11:11 AM
You are talking about two different projects. This project is about raising the road and implementing a system to that water is not stopped from making it to the wetlands as is does now when the tide fully covers the road.

The project you spoke of which you attended the meeting was about flushing the bay with ocean water.

By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on Sep 22, 15 12:45 AM