At a Dec. 20 meeting, the board voted unanimously to remove the Ho-Hum Pavilion from Fire Island. There are no plans to replace it at this time. The decision came after an emergency meeting, held on Dec. 15, where the board publicly discussed the issue and sought input from Adon Austin, an engineer with Rising Tide Waterfront Solutions.
Trustee Maureen Veitch said the decision to remove the pavilion was tough, but that in the end it came down to the cost of moving it or rebuilding it and the environmental impact that it might have.
Trustee Bob Rosenberg said he “absolutely wanted” the pavilion to be saved and rebuilt, but that his decision was based on the additional permits and requirements the federal government would expect if they would have voted to reconstruct. He said if the village voted to move it, it would be an “uphill battle.”
Joanne Specht, a resident, said the board’s decision was disappointing because she, like many of her neighbors and friends, was hoping for a solution that either saved or rebuilt the pavilion. But she said her opinion about the fate of the pavilion was based on the impression that a rebuild would cost significantly less than the $300,000-or-more price tag the board surmised it may cost at the meeting.
Specht took to the microphone and recalled her days as a young mother and the fond memories she had eating lunch or crafting with her children under the pavilion. In the end, she asked if the board would look into something that could provide shelter from the sun and elements.
Several members of the board spoke up to say they want to see something in the pavilion’s place. Whether it’s a permanent structure, something temporary, or an entirely different solution remains to be seen.
“We need something down there,” said trustee Steve Mackin. “There will be something in the future. What it is, we haven’t gotten to yet.”
In other news, the village’s long-awaited traffic stanchion arrived. The board said the stanchion will provide valuable insight into how fast cars are traveling and, because the stanchion is mobile, it will also give the board a good indication of where speeding occurs. In the past, the village has said it will move the stanchion to different streets where fast vehicles are an issue, and it will use the data received to make decisions about traffic-calming measures. According to village clerk John Kocay, the village will work in tandem with the Suffolk County Police Department and Department of Transportation to come up with solutions.
Following up on the newly established Home Improvement Code, the board voted to set a public hearing for Jan. 24, when they’ll seek public input about adding federal holidays to the list of days that home improvement contractors can’t work in the village.
Another public hearing was set for Jan. 24; this one will seek input about the code for smoking on village property.
The village is hoping to get a piece of the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill and hoping to use the grant money on a street terminus project at Otis Lane, Thorn Hedge Road and South Howells Point Road. One requirement is that the project must be “shovel ready,” so the village is tapping Rising Tide Waterfront Solutions to look into some of the necessary elements to get the project up and running, including the permits necessary to start the project.
A farewell after
34 years of service
In a moment that brought smiles to everyone in the room, Michael Perrone, a Department of Public Works employee, was honored for his 34 years of service to the village. He will retire from his position on Dec. 30. Perrone received a certificate of public recognition from the village and was honored by the board with his wife, Rose, by his side. Perrone said he looks forward to retirement and spending time with his grandson, who he’s already slated to babysit for once retirement begins.
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