Upgrades Ahead at Georgica Beach Lot

a parking lot at the end of Lily Pond Lane at Georgica Beach
Renovations to restore a parking lot at the end of Lily Pond Lane at Georgica Beach, which was chewed up by Tropical Storm Irene, were presented to the East Hampton Village Board by Drew Bennett, the village engineer. Morgan McGivern

    At Thursday’s East Hampton Village board work session, Drew Bennett, the consulting engineer for the village, offered an update on two capital projects, both involving extensive road renovation — one in response to Tropical Storm Irene, which chewed up the end of Lily Pond Lane by Georgica Beach, and a repaving project that will encompass almost two miles of Georgica Road between Woods Lane (Route 27) and Georgica Close.
    All the permits have come through for the work at the beach, Mr. Bennett said. It will include “reclaiming about 20 feet of road,” along with the addition of beach sand and beach grass to a down slope there, and the replacement of a split-rail fence, with a cost of around $50,000.
    “We expect to see about 87 percent of the costs reimbursed,” said Larry Cantwell, the village administrator, adding that those reimbursements were being discussed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    The damage to the road end has caused the beach entrance to be deemed unsafe and it has been closed since the late August storm.
    The asphalt would be restriped as well as part of the project. “We could start the work in March,” Mr. Bennett said, with a finish date sometime before the start of beach season. He envisioned that during working hours, limited access to the beach would be provided, in case of emergency.
    “I would like to get this on the board’s agenda this month,” said Mr. Cantwell. “We want to do everything we can to get the work done by May 1.” The board agreed.
    As to Georgica Road, “3,300 feet of the base is greatly decayed,” said Mr. Bennett. The project being proposed would lead to repaving of 10,500 linear feet of road with an eight-inch sub-base. “There’s a long history of flooding” on that section of road, Mr. Bennett explained. Drainage has recently been added, “addressing some of the lingering issues,” especially around Pudding Hill Lane.
    The cost for the project is approximately $780,000, assuming $90 per ton for asphalt, “which is on the high end. We wanted to be conservative,” Mr. Bennett said.
    With a realistic schedule, the work could be done by May 15. “From a financial perspective, we’re in a position to do this work,” Mr. Cantwell said, adding that the money could be put into a bond at a favorable interest rate, since the municipality carries almost no debt.
    Some other smaller paving jobs that are recommended by Mr. Bennett might “piggyback” for a better overall cost.
    “Whether we borrow $780,000 or $1,000,000 is not going to have a significant impact, one over the other,” Mr. Cantwell said.
    Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach agreed that the idea of a “one-time package” would be favored by the board, especially when Mr. Bennett spoke of possible bulk savings.
    “If we can save 20 percent, we should do it,” said Barbara Borsack, the deputy mayor.
    There was also a discussion about upgrading the Police Department’s mapping system. The system now in use is almost 20 years old, and somewhat antiquated by newer technologies.
    “We got our money’s worth out of it,” said East Hampton Village Police Lt. Anthony Long. “But it’s limited and no longer supported. If it breaks, we can’t fix it.”
    The new system being considered is one that “most, if not all, municipalities on the Island use,” said Lieutenant Long. Additional information updates can be borrowed from maps of other towns and cities.
    It is, according to Police Chief Jerry Larsen, a matter of public safety. “Currently we can’t trust the information that’s coming through this.” It’s supposed to support the police but, he said, “it’s a hindrance.”
    The system would cost approximately $55,000 and take about three years to implement 100 percent, from updating the software, to training, and finally integration with the current system.
    “We have an obligation to provide the best product for public safety,” said the mayor.