Funding briefly questioned, but East Hampton Town Board embraces project

COVID-19 Testing Near Montauk School




A second COVID-19 testing site will soon be opened in the Town of East Hampton.

Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc told his fellow town board members during their June 2 meeting that the Montauk testing facility near the public school is being funded and run by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 AM to 4 PM through Labor Day weekend. It will be located in the back parking lot that overlooks the baseball field.

The town already has a testing facility in the parking lot in front of the ballfield at the end of Pantigo Place, open Wednesdays and Fridays.

According to a press release sent out by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, business owners in Montauk will “have free COVID testing available for their employees.” The testing center “will also offer tests to the broader Montauk community by appointment on a pay-for-service or insurance-paid basis.”

The question of how the site was being funded was brought up at the June 2 meeting by Councilman Jeff Bragman. He had previously stated in a letter sent to fellow board members he had been told by Van Scoyoc the site was being funded through a donation from Marc Rowan, the owner of Duryea’s Lobster Deck. In his letter, Bragman said such funding could present a “conflict of interest,” since Rowan and the town are tied up in years-old litigation over Duryea’s.

The press release sent out by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce states the site has been made possible “thanks to the generosity of a local business owner and the collaborative efforts of the Montauk Chamber and the local business community.”

Van Scoyoc reassured Bragman and the board the funding for the Montauk facility was coming from the hospital, and that it would be running the facility, regardless of who made the donation. The board embraced the project after a brief discussion.

The supervisor said the testing facility was part of a broader move by the hospital to provide more services to the eastern half of the township, especially Montauk. Currently, he said, it takes between 45 minutes to an hour, or more, for an ambulance to make the journey from Montauk during a normal summer season.

Rowan said in a recent interview with The Independent that he saw it essential to increase testing in Montauk if businesses like his were to reopen. He is known for his philanthropic efforts under the Rowan Family Foundation.

t.e@indyeastend.com