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Mar 29, 2016 11:01 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Will Seek Community Input On Upgrading Ponquogue Beach Pavilion

Southampton Town officials agreed during a work session last week to get community input on Supervisor Jay Schneiderman's proposal to upgrade the Ponquogue Beach pavilion. ALYSSA MELILLO
Mar 29, 2016 4:26 PM

Southampton Town officials continue to discuss Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s vision to renovate the Ponquogue Beach pavilion—which would include building a modern dining facility—and have agreed to ask the Hampton Bays community for input before moving forward with any plans.

At a work session last Thursday, March 24, a number of town officials met with the Town Board to discuss putting together a draft request for proposals, or RFP, that would involve some design professionals seeking input from the community about what they would like to see at the pavilion, which was developed in 1966 and “really has remained, essentially, unchanged,” according to Christine Fetten, director of municipal works.

Town Board members agreed, though, that they would like to know if Hampton Bays residents even want to see the pavilion upgraded or changed, which Mr. Schneiderman estimated could be an approximately $3 million project.

“If the community says we love it the way it is … then obviously we can do nothing here,” Mr. Schneiderman said at the work session. “But I know the county has a facility at Cupsogue that burned down. It was pretty popular. It seems like it really [has] the type of amenities that the public would expect [at Ponquogue]. I would love to get community input on it.”

The Hampton Bays residents on the Town Board—Councilman Stan Glinka and Councilwoman Julie Lofstad—both said earlier this week that they liked the idea of doing something to improve the current facility at Ponquogue, and believe it’s important to reach out to their neighbors for input.

Ms. Lofstad said that in addition to going out to the usual civic organizations, she would like to discuss the idea with local parent-teacher groups and the Hampton Bays Mothers Association, as well as talking to seniors and students, and going door-to-door.

“I have a personal feel that you don’t want to change anything. But the reality is that it’s not in the best shape. And the other reality is that we could do more with it,” Ms. Lofstad said of the pavilion. “I hope that they do understand that we would like to do this because we think [it will] move Hampton Bays in the right direction.”

Mr. Glinka said he thought the concept was very innovative, but wants first to nail down the financial impact it will have on the town and taxpayers in the hamlet.

“I want things to improve. But at the same token, I need to make sure that our taxes in Hampton Bays aren’t going to go up any more,” he said. “I also want to hear what the community wants, too. My biggest thing is, what does Hampton Bays want? We just have to be aware of the financial impact.”

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Great Idea. The pavilion needs an upgrade to make it compliant with new regulations, so we should do it right. Expansion of the concession into a restaurant will generate more revenue for the Town.
By Bayman (56), Hampton Bays on Mar 30, 16 9:37 AM
I am glad that the Board is going to get community input. I think the pavilion needs upgrades and repairs, but I don't think a full service restaurant is appropriate.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 30, 16 8:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Noooo...bad idea. Charming idea, but bad.
While the Pavilion may need an upgrade a Town owned restaurant there would compete with privately owned restaurants, increase traffic on already busy residential streets into and out of the hamlet of Ponquogue, and unnecessarily stress the general environment.
The Town needs to consider investment in long term resiliency, not short term pleasures. What's the point in building new on the oceanfront if rising seas and worsening storms are coming to ...more
By PQ1 (167), hampton bays on Mar 31, 16 7:58 PM