Westhampton Beach Village Trustees have asked the high school’s Business Advisory Board to provide more information about a proposed carnival that it hopes to hold in the late spring on the Great Lawn in order to raise scholarship money for graduating seniors.
At a village work session last Thursday night, November 15, Tracie Glover, the owner of a day care center and co-chair of the Business Advisory Board, presented trustees with a request to hold the carnival. She told them that organizers hope to raise between $3,000 and $5,000, and plan to distribute several $1,000 scholarships.
At the meeting, Westhampton Beach Mayor Conrad Teller requested that the group provide more information, such as the type of equipment that would be used, before a decision can be made. Typically, he said, the trustees do not like allowing carnivals on the Great Lawn, because the weight of rides typically damage the grounds. Village trustees denied a similar request in October 2011 by the Kiwanis Club of Westhampton.
“I am against a carnival on that piece of land, because of the size of the equipment and rain possibilities,” Mr. Teller said. “I would ask if you are going to continue, you provide what are the weights and sizes of the trucks.”
The other board members seemed to agree, with Trustee Patricia DiBenedetto suggesting that the group ask Westhampton Beach Schools Superintendent Michael Radday about the possibility of using the high school parking lot for the event. Group members typically hold their annual carnival at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, but due to the pending construction of the new Hamptons Business and Technology Park, were told they needed to find a new location. They were also denied because of the weight and size of equipment.
“It is worth a shot,” Ms. Glover said earlier this week. “Until somebody says no, I will keep goingn because I know that it will be profitable for the village and positive for the area.”
She added that business group members will float the suggestion by the school district after Thanksgiving break.
Also last week, trustees discussed a possible application that could be filed by the owners of the True Value hardware store on Montauk Highway seeking a zone line modification—a variance that would permit the land between the store and a neighboring property to be altered from residential to business. If approved, the change would allow for an expansion of the store and upgrades to its parking lot. The initial request for review—it is not an application because the variance needs to be secured first—was filed about nine months ago and also seeks to change the configuration of the parking lot, and remodel the building.
Kyle Collins, an independent consultant for the village, presented the plan last week. He said there are some problems with it, including the request that the parking lot located in front and along the side of the building have two entrances. Currently, customers can pull into and out of the lot along one long easement that runs in front of the store and adjacent to Montauk Highway.
Still, Mr. Collins said that with some modifications, he thinks an agreement can be made that makes everyone happy.
Trustees agreed that this is a good opportunity to work with the property owner to revamp that section of the village.
“I think it is a worthy thing for Montauk Highway,” Deputy Mayor Hank Tucker said. “I wish every business heading east on Montauk Highway would submit an application to clean it up—I’d like to see this go through.”
Officials also briefly discussed the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, which caused an estimated $150,000 of damage to the village marina and washed away approximately 13,500 cubic yards of sand from Rogers and Lashley beaches. The village is estimated that it will cost about $20 per cubic yard to have replacement sand delivered and placed on the beaches. The village is in preliminary talks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to discuss possible reimbursement options.
Mr. Tucker said that with most things now back to normal in the village, it might be a good time to discuss plans for future storms that include working closer with the villages of Quogue and West Hampton Dunes when the time comes to evacuate Dune Road. Trustees agreed to discuss the matter more in depth in the coming weeks.