clubhouse, east hampton, indoor, tennis, cornhole, bar, happy hour, bowling, mini golf

Story - News

Sep 22, 2015 3:26 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Village Could Look At Tax District For Hook Pond Fixes

Sep 22, 2015 3:52 PM

East Hampton Village may have to turn to special taxing districts for some, or all, of its residents to tackle the millions in dollars that addressing chronic water quality problems in Hook Pond and Town Pond will require.

More than 80 properties along Egypt Lane and North Main Street will likely have to be connected to two sewage treatment systems because their aging septic systems are sitting directly in, or very close to, the groundwater table of the Hook Pond watershed, a consultant told village officials and residents this week.

Installing two state-of-the-art wastewater treatment systems—one on Egypt Lane and another on North Main Street—and connecting the 87 properties identified as problematic to it, could cost upward of $5 million, a cost burden that the consultant, Pio Lombardo, suggested should be spread among the property owners over time through bonding and special tax levies. Doing so would require agreement, in the form of a referendum vote, by the subject property owners. Mr. Lombardo suggested that such a referendum could be brought to voters by next June. The village has already applied to Suffolk County and New York State for grants to fund parts of the project design.

“Because of the high groundwater conditions there, these wastewater systems are causing contamination of the surface [waters] in Hook Pond,” Mr. Lombardo said, during a presentation to the Village Board on Friday. He also noted that some of the 87 properties lie outside the village’s border and would therefore require some inter-municipal agreement with the town, which has already been the subject of discussion between town and village officials, Mr. Lombardo said.

Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach said on Monday that the two municipalities have had some talks but that the whole of the remediation plan for Hook Pond is still too fresh to know exactly where it will head in the future.

“There is a long-term commitment from the present Board of Trustees as it relates to water quality issues at Hook Pond and Town Pond,” Mayor Rickenbach said. “But it’s a time release capsule. It’s going to take place over several years, so to say how something will be done at this stage is premature. We want to get the vehicle in place for it to happen and we’ll move forward from there.”

The Egypt Lane and North Main Street septic treatment would be one of four major projects that Mr. Lombardo and a committee reviewing studies of water quality conditions in and around the complex of ponds, dreens and drainage pipes have recommended.

Other phases of the overall approach would include a substantial effort to excavate phosphorous-laden sediment from Town Pond and, possibly, from Hook Pond itself.

The village has also already applied for grants to fund another phase: the installation of a series of engineered wetlands, or rain gardens, around the outflows of drainage pipes leading to Town Pond, to capture and filter out pollutants.

The other major undertaking Mr. Lombardo proposed was the installation of a “permeable reactive barrier” directly in the path of the Hook Pond Dreen, the narrow, sometimes subsurface creek running parallel to Egypt Lane that includes a popular “duck pond” on Davids Lane. A permeable reactive barrier is a still largely experimental but increasingly popular approach to filtering pollutants from groundwater by placing a permeable wall of mineral material directly in the flowing water that interacts with the pollutants and either neutralizes them or removes them from the water flow.

Mr. Lombardo suggested that because of the expected high costs of all the various phases of the work, the village and town may well have to consider creating special water quality improvement taxing districts across all properties in the Hook Pond watershed.

“The village is putting together an analysis of all that,” Mr. Lombardo said on Monday. “There are a number of issues in flux that will be fleshed out in the coming months.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Not a word about nitrogen-rich fertilizers - really?
By patricia hope (2), East Hampton on Sep 23, 15 10:33 AM
Sounds like a complete win for the Lambardo firm.

By Colt (36), Wainscott on Sep 23, 15 1:37 PM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend