Ho Hum Beach town-owned?

Courtesy photo

Ho Hum Beach town-owned?

Story By: GLENN ROHRBACKER
9/20/2018


If you thought that Ho Hum Beach was completely owned by the Village of Bellport, you’d be wrong. A resolution passed at the town board meeting last week, officially allowing the village to annex the property containing Ho Hum Beach as part of its territory.

Mayor Ray Fell said that the village board would move to annex the property into the village at the next meeting on Sept. 24. 

The issue came forth when a resident, who didn’t keep his boat in the Bellport marina but wanted to dock at the Fire Island side, refused to get a free sticker that allowed such action. The village requires that all residents who don’t have a slip in the marina, and bring their boat from another marina or enter via trailer, place a sticker on the boat allowing them to dock at the Ho Hum marina. The sticker is at no cost to residents.

Fell said this particular resident denied a sticker, and after two attempts to encourage him to visit village hall for the sticker, code enforcers gave the boater a ticket. He had to go to village court and pay a fine. But his attorney challenged the fine, showing that the Town of Brookhaven officially owned the land, to which the courts agreed.

If the resolution passes at the next village board meeting, the beach territory will officially be part of the Village of Bellport. Fell added that it would allow regulations and other policies to remain official.

“Now we’ll be able to do it ourselves, and all of Bellport’s regulations and codes will apply over there,” Fell said.

The village will look to measure the territory in the near future to get an exact size and scope of the piece of land. 

Also at the town board meeting, a resolution was passed in the next phase of the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency plan, which was awarded to local governments across the state last year. Brookhaven was awarded a $20 million grant from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, which allows the support of several projects. 

The grant, which was awarded due to Brookhaven’s plan to reduce the overall number of local governments, including the disbandment of the Village of Mastic Beach, is expansive in breadth and scope, impacts the most individuals, and saves taxpayer money.

The Town of Brookhaven has six erosion control taxing districts on Fire Island, which were created to allow for the financing of erosion control methods and assessments. This resolution allows for a map and plan to be drawn to consolidate those six districts into one. 

A request for proposals is out to look for a contractor that can provide the services. The goal is to implement the consolidation into the 2020 fiscal budget. Matt Miner, chief of operations for the town, said that town officials have met with community leaders and are looking to see if this is the best option for the area. 

“We believe that by having one district rather than six districts, there will be ... savings,” he said.

Miner added that there wouldn’t be a change of service after the plan is implemented, that it would really just be an “elimination of an extra layer of government.” Officials are looking to complete a plan by spring, at which time they would present it to community leaders again for feedback. It would then be brought forth in a public hearing before being passed by the town board. Miner added that the main goal is to find a way to use the same services at a lower cost. 

“The ultimate goal of all our projects is to save taxpayer money,” he said.

The next town board meeting is on Sept. 27 at 5 p.m.