Southampton Town Parks Director Kristen Duolos has proposed using her department’s reserve money to fund the renovation of Flying Point Beach in Water Mill.
The $950,000 project would include new siding and roofing, while expanding the current footprint of the current pavilion, refurbishing the foundation of the structure, recreating the bathroom layout and lifeguard area, and adding a new attendant booth and trellis. Duolos said upgrading the sanitary system and repaving the parking lot was also being considered.
“After the completion of the Ponquogue Beach pavilion project, we were looking east of the canal the coming year,” the parks director said. “Flying Point Beach is currently in very poor condition. Particularly, the walkover to the beach is not Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, nor are the bathrooms, shower, or ramp. During this project, those are the main items we really want to address.”
The town board members during a November 21 work session on the topic had a bit of sticker shock.
“It seems like a relatively minor project and the cost seems very high,” Superintendent Jay Schneiderman said. “And there might be things that crop up that add to the cost — unanticipated costs.”
Councilman John Bouvier thought there could potentially be an issue with the availability of funds. He thought phasing in the project, which Duolos originally was planning to do before thinking otherwise to get all the permitting in place at once, would be a better option.
“I like the project, but want to revisit the cost,” he said. “Also, I’d like to know what the usage of this beach really is, especially to determine the flow rate for the wastewater treatment system.”
L.K. McLean Associates engineering firm associate Matt Jedlicka said his plans depict a rebuild of the 720-square-foot structure, enlarging the footprint, shoring up the foundation, removing and replacing the decking with long-lasting ipe wood decking, replacing some of the concrete block the structure sits on, and replacing half of the underframing and certain posts. He said there would be an attempt to save some of the framing, along with the roof, although Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni thought this may not be possible. The plan is to widen the walls to the existing posts that hold up the current roof. Schneiderman said some overhang may be needed.
“It’s only our engineer’s budgetary estimate,” Jedlicka said in response to the high cost. “Until it comes in at bid date, it’s hard to really determine exactly what the number is.”
The associate said the western portion of the parking lot is where the sanitary system with 3800 gallons of storage would go. Assuming the groundwater is high has also been taken into consideration, he said, in regards to leaching. A concrete barrier would be installed around the system and covered with a pad overtop. Jedlicka foresees one parking space being lost because of this, and said repaving and restriping of the entire parking lot would follow.
“One thing we’ve been focused on these past few years is addressing infrastructure, particularly at our beaches, because we know how important they are to our economy and to the enjoyment of our residents and visitors,” Duolos said.
The renovations have already been established as a capital project, and because of permitting requirements, Duolos said the town would most likely not break ground until fall of next year.
Schneiderman asked to see the costs compared with a prefabricated wood building. The superintendent also wants to price out moving the structure and the walkway along the edge of the current parking lot so that access to the beach would be even more accessible to the handicapped, while also putting the wastewater treatment system at grade, instead of at a potential elevation. Because the reserve funds are generated through the creation of subdivisions, which the town has not seen many of as of late, the fund is not replenishing quickly, so he’d like to proceed with caution when it comes to using over 75 percent of the reserves.
“I’d like to look at the cost differentials and make an informed decision — approach it with the most cost-savings possible,” Schneiderman said. “It’s not that we don’t have the money, but it’s about saving some of the funds to be able to do other projects.”