Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor told residents at Wednesday's Hampton Bays Citizens Advisory Committee meeting that he and the town have requested federal, state and county funds to elevate Dune Road to alleviate flooding in the area that has been a big problem for homeowners and those who use the county road. He said Congressman Timothy Bishop has drawn up legislation for $6.8 million in federal funds, but the resolution is being stalled in committee.
Otherwise known as County Road 89, Dune Road is prone to major flooding, sometimes with as much at 12 inches of water. Gregor said the requested funding would allow the town to elevate the five-mile stretch of road 18 inches.
"Dune Road floods all the time. It doesn't even have to be a storm anymore," Gregor said. "It's a bad spot. It may take a couple of years, but we're going to work on it." He said that after a March 29 storm, the road was flooded for nearly two months and the town spent about $20,000 for repairs to get the road in passable condition in time for Memorial Day.
Gregor said that sometimes roadwork such as the Dune Road reconstruction is stalled because the town does not have the money to pay for such projects and additional funding is needed from other levels of government. He said the town does not want to overburden local taxpayers for these kinds of improvements. "We're looking for a partnership of federal, state and county," he said. "We're committed to bringing in other governments to help pay for it." He added that the town is in the process of obtaining a permit for the construction.
Ed Walters, acting chair of the Hampton Bays Citizens Advisory Committee, commended Gregor on his hard work and told residents to be patient. "Sometimes we think that we're not being responded to, but things are not always as simple at them seem," he said.
Gregor also briefly discussed the town's new leaf pickup program that is set to go into effect on Monday, November 22. With this new program, the town will only pick up leaves. Brush will no longer be the town's responsibility and will not be picked up by the town.
"I bumped the brush because people were taking too much advantage of it and were doing more brush than leaves," Gregor said.
If homeowners have brush piles in front of their homes after Nov. 22, the town will give them a voucher for reimbursement, but residents must remove their own brush. For more information on the town's new leaf program, visit the town website at www.southamptontownny.gov.
The Hampton Bays Citizens Advisory Committee holds meetings on the first Wednesday of every month. The next meeting will be on Wednesday November 1.