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Jan 4, 2019 11:28 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Village Of Quogue Officials Look To The New Year, See Big Decision On Beach Nourishment Proposal

Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius. VALERIE GORDON
Jan 8, 2019 1:51 PM

Having successfully crossed a hearty list of projects off their “to-do list” in 2018, Quogue Village officials are charging forward into 2019 with an equally aggressive agenda.

The top priority for the new year is to make a decision about whether to implement a special erosion control taxing district to fund a $10 million project to rebuild the eastern portion of the village’s public beach. Although the control district would be formed by the Town of Southampton, under state law, the consent of the Village Board is required.

If approved, the taxing district would include 46 beachfront properties, each of which would be required to pay approximately $25,000 to $30,000 on their property tax bills each year for 10 years. Homeowners could be charged either based on total assessed value, linear footage of ocean frontage, or a combination of both, according to Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius.

The plan, outlined by Aram Terchunian, a Westhampton-based coastal geologist who has helped design several large beach nourishment projects, is to dump nearly 526,000 cubic yards of sand along a 1.2-mile stretch of beach spanning from the Quogue Beach Club to the village’s eastern boundary.

The proposal will piggyback on a larger sand nourishment project, planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that will reconstruct 4.5 miles of beach between Hampton Bays and East Quogue. Currently, the Army Corps restoration efforts halt at the Quogue Village border.

Based on the results of a survey, mailed to the owners of each of the 46 properties in October, the “clear majority” favor forming the district, Mr. Sartorius said. However, as of Thursday, January 3, 20 percent of those homeowners have yet to return the questionnaires.

Opponents of the project, such as homeowners Karen and Andrew Cirincione, who would pay between $17,000 and $25,000 per year for the work if the taxing district is created, have argued that the entire village will benefit from the public beach nourishment project and therefore should share the tax impact accordingly.

Mr. Sartorius anticipates the Village Board reaching a decision sometime over the winter. However, he said that before a decision is made, another public meeting must be held to alleviate outstanding concerns.

While controversy is evident in the case of forming an erosion control district, there’s a list of projects on the horizon that are eagerly anticipated throughout the village.

By month’s end, the village is expected to complete the renovation of the Quogue Village Beach restroom and storage facility. The $123,000 project, which began back in October, includes reconstructing the pavilion’s existing restrooms, adding a new handicapped accessible restroom, a ramp for wheelchair access, and a small storage shed.

“That’s looking really good,” Mr. Sartorius said. He added that he was also “very pleased” with the completion of the $115,000 village green project, which was completed in June.

The project involved replacing approximately 300 linear feet of sidewalk, trenching, landscaping, and installing lighting fixtures to beautify the village.

As well, the village offices are on the brink of expansion. In October, the village gained control of the former Quogue Plumbing building, which sits adjacent to town hall at 121 Jessup Avenue. The 2,464-square-foot village-owned building will provide a much needed conference room as well as new administrative offices for the village’s building and safety inspectors and code enforcement officers.

“The space in the village is pretty constricted,” Mr. Sartorius said.

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Well done Mayor Sartorius and Village Board members!
By Mayor Moore (10), Westhampton Beach on Jan 8, 19 9:49 AM
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