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Sep 9, 2015 9:43 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Seeks Bids For Sewer District Scenarios

The Westhampton Beach Village Board at its September meeting last Thursday, September 3. ALYSSA MELILLO
Sep 9, 2015 9:49 AM

Westhampton Beach officials have taken another step in the quest that could eventually lead to the establishment of a sewer district in the village, soliciting bids from engineering firms that would examine two possible scenarios for its creation.

The Village Board authorized Village Clerk-Treasurer Elizabeth Lindtvit last Thursday, September 3, to advertise the request for bids. Specifically, the request asks that contractors outline two potential scenarios: the first would assume that the village would be able connect to the sewage treatment facility at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton while the second would assume that the village would have to construct its own sewage plant.

In July, the village secured permission from the Suffolk County Sewer Agency to reserve 50,000 gallons of daily sewage capacity at Gabreski’s treatment facility. Village Mayor Maria Moore noted this week, though, that the village is exploring the idea of building its own plant because, if it opted to connect to Gabreski’s, it could be too limiting for the businesses along Main Street and the surrounding areas that the sewer district would serve.

If it does opt to hook up to Gabreski’s facility, the village would have to pay a one-time $1.5 million fee, in addition to installation fees that have not yet been determined.

“This is really to educate ourselves about the options,” Ms. Moore said about the request for proposals.

The mayor further explained that the engineers’ plans would examine the costs of both options, as well as map out where the sewer lines and pumps would go in each scenario. Additionally, they would assess the sewer district’s environmental impact, both during construction and when it is up and running.

Ms. Moore stressed that there would be positive impacts, as one of the objectives of the sewer district is to improve the condition of nearby Moniebogue Bay, which is often hindered by high levels of nitrates that cause algal blooms. “We’re not looking at it only to increase the ability of Main Street to expand its businesses,” she said.

If Westhampton Beach does build its own wastewater treatment facility, it would be joining two other South Fork villages that have either done so already, or are about to.

The Village of Sag Harbor has a plant that was constructed in the early 1970s that can process up to 250,000 gallons of wastewater per day. Southampton Village is now finalizing a proposal to establish its own sewer district as well, which includes the construction of a treatment facility that could process approximately 200,000 gallons of wastewater daily. Southampton’s sewer district is estimated to cost roughly $33 million to construct.

Ms. Moore said her board expects to have the engineering proposals in about a month. She said she expects the board to select a plan sometime this fall.

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If we don't clean up our bays, we are going to kill our beautiful East End.
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on Sep 10, 15 8:15 AM
It's kind of amazing that such a wealthy and long established community wouldn't have a sewer and water treatment already in place. Seems even more ridiculous considering how many people are looking at the quality of the bay water and are scratching their heads wondering why it isn't better? Does no one see that the two are intimately connected? I understand the dis-economies of scale when running phone line, cable, or sewer and the houses are far apart. Getting 4 customers per mile is a poor ...more
By Hambone (514), New York on Sep 10, 15 10:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
Is nice to see Tenn Tom (Remsenburg) weigh in. Also Hamone (NY- not sure if he is WHB Village Resident) weigh in. Yes a sewer district would be beneficial but the cost astronomical. We live in a wealthy area but how many "local" residents will vote for a sewer district if it only accommodates the stores and real estate developers on Main St. Is it really worth the cost?Would more density make a difference in our Bays? But that would really be expensive. Bottom line is Main St is empty outside the ...more
By realistic (472), westhampton on Sep 11, 15 7:23 PM
I think it's appropriate and logical for the mayor and village trustees to be exploring this as it's an issue that's been brought up and spoken about for some time. Moreover, the entire process has been perfectly transparent. How can one say the cost is astronomical when the bids are not even in and, from what I understand, the financing would come from a mix of revenue streams. "Realistic," just take a deep breath, dear. I think before we start criticizing, we should have all of our facts and figures ...more
By CountryMouse (8), westhampton beach on Sep 11, 15 10:42 PM