WELCOME GUEST  |  LOG IN
clubhouse, east hampton, indoor, tennis, cornhole, bar, happy hour, bowling, mini golf
27east.com

Story - News

Sep 25, 2017 3:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Workers Start Removing Dying Trees Along Main Street In East Quogue

Brian Babcock of East Quogue is pushing for the town to put a bigger focus on the landscaping in his hometown. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Sep 26, 2017 3:02 PM

The buzzing of landscape trucks filled the air in East Quogue on Monday afternoon as workers contracted by Southampton Town began removing dying trees along the hamlet’s Main Street.

The work is part of an estimated $17,000 beautification project that was pushed for by a pair of East Quogue residents who had been looking to create a parks district to revamp the appearance of their hometown. Those efforts have been temporarily put on hold, according to Brian Babcock, a lead advocate for the parks district.

The ongoing work, which calls for contractors with Coastal Landscapes in Hampton Bays to remove 10 Cleveland pear trees and replace them with eight hornbeam trees, a tall and thin hardwood tree, is being financed with redirected Southampton Town Parks Department funding, according to town officials. The work also includes placing some fresh mulch in the Village Green.

Mr. Babcock and Jamie Maloney approached the Town Board earlier this year asking to create a special parks district in their hamlet that would tax residents so extra funds would be available to maintain landscaping in the hamlet. The request came following frustrations with what they consider a lack of urgency in addressing such issues by the Town Parks Department, which is responsible for maintaining the hamlet’s park, as well as Main Street.

Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Zappone explained this week that the park district proposal was put on hold in July due to the complexity of such an endeavor. In order to create a taxing district, the town would need to schedule a special vote, and it could not be held during the general election this November because only East Quogue residents can cast ballots, he added, meaning the town would have to hold a special election, which comes with additional costs. “There are a bunch of logistics around conducting the special election,” Mr. Zappone said.

In the meantime, Town Parks Director Kristen Doulos redirected funding in her current budget to remove the dying trees along Main Street and replace them with new ones. She explained that the money comes from funds originally set aside to prevent the spread of the southern pine beetle, an invasive species that first appeared three or four years ago locally and has been killing swaths of pine trees in the Pine Barrens.

Mr. Zappone noted that Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman intends to set aside money for the East Quogue Revitalization Project in next year’s town budget, which the supervisor plans to unveil at the board’s next work session on Thursday, September 28.

Standing in front of the Quogue East Pub on Main Street on Monday afternoon, Mr. Babcock, who works as a FedEx truck driver and also sits on the East Quogue Board of Education, noted that he is happy the town is working with him to complete the landscaping without raising taxes. The tree removal work began that day and is expected to continue into next week. It is not expected to interfere with the repaving of Main Street that was slated to begin on Tuesday, September 26, and be completed by contractors with Suffolk County.

If additional grant money can be procured, Mr. Babcock said he would like to remove more dying trees in the hamlet and complete additional upkeep inside the East Quogue Village Green.

Under their original proposal, if it were approved, East Quogue residents would have self imposed a tax to fund the East Quogue Park District. It was estimated that a person with a house assessed at $500,000 would have been asked to contribute approximately $10 a year to help fund the district. The district was planned to levy about $20,000 annually from those living within the boundaries of the East Quogue School District, and the actual rate would be based on individual house assessments, similar to how school taxes are calculated.

Some business owners along Main Street said this week that they are excited to see the town completing some overdue upkeep.

“It’s going to be nice,” said Ron Campsey, the longtime owner of New Moon Cafe. “I’ve been here 40 years and I’ve been waiting for the town to go to the next level.”

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

Already a subscriber? Sign in

This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By HamptonDad (235), Hampton Bays on Sep 25, 17 7:21 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By VOS (1224), WHB on Sep 26, 17 10:12 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By HamptonDad (235), Hampton Bays on Sep 26, 17 11:07 AM
It's nice to see trees being replaced. Municipalities will happily cut them down, but they almost never plant new ones.
By NateNewtown (99), east on Sep 25, 17 8:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By mlt3 (1), Bridgehampton on Sep 26, 17 10:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By johnj (1017), Westhampton on Sep 26, 17 11:22 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Po Boy (4904), Water Mill on Sep 26, 17 11:31 AM
Dead trees...thanks obama !!!!
By patrick61 (18), Hampton Bays on Sep 26, 17 6:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Did nailing signs about breakfast kill them?
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Sep 26, 17 7:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend