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Dec 13, 2016 8:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Officials Support New Emergency Room Near Town Hall

Sketches submitted by Southampton Hospital to East Hampton Town showing potential development layouts and traffic flows for the new emergency room facility the hospital plans to construct off Pantigo Road, in the location where two little league ballfields currently stand. Courtesy Southampton Hospital
Dec 13, 2016 2:53 PM

East Hampton Town officials will give Southampton Hospital their blessing to pursue construction of its planned new emergency room facility on a municipally owned property off Pantigo Road near Town Hall.

Town planners told the Town Board last week that they still have some questions about the amount of traffic the new emergency care facility will generate, which will dictate how many parking spots are needed and potentially raise issues with the flow of traffic in the area. Still, they said, the Pantigo Road property is the preferred option over another property on Stephen Hands Path that had also been under consideration.

The 4.5-acre parcel is currently zoned for parks and conservation use because the town now owns it, but it was originally zoned commercial-industrial, which town officials said it would revert back to if the hospital bought it. The medical facility would be an allowed use in that zone.

The Pantigo Road property, which would displace two ballfields currently used by local Little Leagues, would site the new emergency room more centrally in the town, near already established medical facilities and away from residential neighborhoods that could be disturbed by the noise of ambulances in the late night and early morning hours, planner Eric Shantz told Town Board members last week. The property, however, is a somewhat tight fit for the hospital’s planned 15,000-to-20,000-square-foot facility, but could be accommodated, according to Mr. Schantz.

Sketches presented by Southampton Hospital show the facility in two different potential arrangements on the property, each featuring 140 parking spaces and a helipad for Suffolk County Police medevac helicopters to land at.

Placing the new emergency facility on the 40-acre Stephen Hands Path property, the site of the now-defunct Child Development Center of the Hamptons school, could drastically alter the nature of the property and create other potential issues, officials said. The town has previously noted that if the new facility replaces the ballfields, they could be rebuilt on the Stephen Hands property.

Siting the new emergency room facility on the Pantigo Road property could also carry an ancillary benefit for the town as it would likely boost the sale values of the town offices at 300 Pantigo Road as more medical service providers attempt to move near the new hospital operation. The town has said it plans to sell the office spaces once it has completed construction of a planned new building on the Town Hall campus. The project has been slated to cost about $8.5 million, and the town intends to offset some of the costs with the sale of the Pantigo offices, which could be worth as much as $4 million.

The new ER could cut as much as an hour off travel times for ambulances traveling from the eastern reaches of East Hampton Town. The hospital has been awarded a $10 million grant from the state to help with the anticipated $30 million cost of the facility, but needs to be able to identify where it plans to build by the end of the year in order to file an application to secure the funding.

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