Severe erosion along the oceanfront in Wainscott from a pair of winter storms has erased dunes constructed after Superstorm Sandy and left the Georgica Association’s bathing pavilion foundation and parking lot completely exposed.
The East Hampton Town Trustees on Monday night gave representatives from the association permission to truck in more than 3,000 tons of sand removed from the floodplain of Sagg Pond to rebuild the 300 feet of eroded dune and cover the pavilion’s septic system, which has been uncovered by the erosion.
Some board members said that while they were in favor of allowing the association to bring in the sand as a band-aid for the eroded dunes, that the facility’s septic system was going to need to be upgraded to a more storm-proof one in case future erosion were again to impact it.
“Rick [Drew] and I looked at this earlier in the week and I think we both came to the conclusion that on an emergency basis this needs to be addressed, but on a more long-term basis this bathhouse, beach house may need to … I’m not going to say retreat, but I think some alternatives need to be explored,” Trustee James Grimes said. “The association needs to look at some long-range remediation here … with the septic system.”
Association consultant Billy Mack said that the dune was rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy and that the erosion at the property this winter has been worse than following that historic storm.
“This is the first time they’ve been hit this badly,” Mr. Mack said of the association. “They’re looking at this problem much more globally now,” he added, noting that the association’s members are thinking more closely about how to help their facility weather future storms.
Not all the Trustees were convinced. The board’s most senior member, Diane McNally, said she thought the board should take more time to consider the proposal before approving it. She was the lone vote against the approval.
“The condition it is in right now is a hazard,” Mr. Grimes said. “To leave it that way would be negligent on our part.”
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