Legitimate Concerns - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1916299

Legitimate Concerns

I’ve been a resident of Meeting House Lane in Southampton Village since 1981 and, until recently, I haven’t felt a need to write a Letter to the Editor.

My concern is with the proposed relocation of the Heart of the Hamptons food pantry to the old ambulance barn at 44 Meeting House Lane. It saddens me that some are purposefully characterizing opposition to the location as a not-in-my-backyard issue, implying that residents who oppose the location may be selfish people who are less concerned about the welfare of their neighbors than they are about their own comfort.

Anyone who lives on Meeting House Lane understands that it’s a main ambulance route to the hospital and a route taken by tradesmen going to and from client locations north and south of this main artery. It is not as if anyone living on Meeting House Lane expects light traffic all day, every day.

I understand that there was an offseason, two-day “traffic study” done at the request of the mayor’s office. Such a study can hardly show the actual traffic on this artery during the summer season.

What residents should expect is not to have tractor-trailer traffic or other heavy truck traffic on the lane. Inevitably, there will be periods when, due to a lack of adequate parking and a turnaround facility near Jobs Lane and Main Street, traffic may come to a standstill as large trucks need to maneuver into loading and unloading positions.

It should be a concern to all residents that public safety traffic may be blocked during a time of emergency need. All it will take is one ambulance delayed for several minutes for a concern to become a personal tragedy for a local family. The ambulance barn was located there for many years for reasons that are obvious.

It seems to me that the mayor and board want to secure the old ambulance location for Heart of the Hamptons over the legitimate concerns of local residents.

Do the mayor and board really want input from local residents or are they only going through the motions because the village attorney recommended that they hold a hearing to address a technical flaw uncovered after an initial attempt to push through a 30-year lease for the site caused the original lease to be rescinded?

Few people, if any, are opposed to the Heart of the Hamptons finding a better and more appropriate home. My understanding is that the food pantry serves 2,500 to 3,000 people each week. Why not hold a series of fundraisers to raise money for this worthy cause? Let’s find a place for them that is not likely to cause a bottleneck in a residential area.

Joe Amodea

Southampton Village