Change of Venue Irks Some

Monday night’s monthly meeting of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee took place not in the community room of the Amagansett Library, which has been the committee’s home for the last 10 years, but at the Donald Lamb building on Bluff Road, better known as the East Hampton Town Trustees’ office. Only 20 or so were in attendance, which was just as well; the room could not have held too many more.

Members of the committee were clearly unhappy about the change of venue, which followed a decision by the library’s board of managers not to keep the library open after regular hours any longer. The meetings at the library began at 7 p.m. and ended at 9.

The board offered Wednesday or Thursday nights, when the library is open until 8, instead of Mondays, when it closes at 5, but several second-home owners both on and off the committee said they stayed over once a month on Mondays specifically for the meetings, and the mid-week options were unacceptable. “We all want to keep our meeting on Mondays,” said Vicki Littman, chairwoman of the committee.

“The library would like to continue hosting A.C.A.C.,” its director, Cynthia Young, said on Tuesday, but on an evening when it is fully staffed. In the past, she said, she herself had volunteered on Monday nights to stay at the library during the meetings to lock up the building afterward, but “to have the building open with only one person staffing it, I feel is not safe. It’s three floors I have to check myself. Anybody could be anywhere.”

“I know we’re safe here in Amagansett, and I would never use that as an excuse,” Ms. Young said. “But it is a concern.” She called the board’s decision “only reasonable.”

Several committee members, and Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, the town board’s liaison to the advisory committee, said they would explore other meeting places for the future. Town Hall was mentioned; so was the Amagansett Firehouse and St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Some people remained angry, however. “We can’t have access to our own library?” Michael Dintenfass protested. “The library is a public resource.” 

There was some talk of challenging the library directors in next year’s election, until Tom Field put a stop to it. “Discussing running for someone else’s board is not our business,” he said. “I suggest we go back to A.C.A.C. business.”

Mr. Cantwell reported that the hamlet’s long-awaited public bathrooms are “75 percent complete, the sidewalks are connected, and you can walk around. It looks great.” Construction on the bathrooms, at the back of the town parking lot behind Main Street, has stopped for the summer and will resume after Labor Day, when, among other things, water will be brought in from Main Street. The work, including repaving, will be finished by the end of September, Mr. Cantwell said.

In response to a question about the town’s new rental registry — was it legal to list a property with Rona Klopman asked — the supervisor said yes, provided the listing had a registration number. He noted, however, that the owner is required to inform the town when renters change.

Michael Cinque wondered about getting a four-way stop sign at the corners of Bluff Road and Atlantic Avenue. The possibility is under consideration, Mr. Cantwell said. That reminded him of a related project that the committee had suggested: lowering the speed limit on certain well-traveled streets — Bluff, Atlantic, Indian Wells Highway, and Marine Boulevard among them — to 25 miles per hour. New York State, however, sets the minimum limit at 30 m.p.h. on residential streets, and Albany did not approve Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.’s bill to reduce it for the streets in question. “We submitted it, but we didn’t get it,” Mr. Cantwell said.

Mr. Cinque and Britton Bistrian, who have been active in the restoration of the Amagansett Life Saving and Coast Guard Station, reminded committee members that the building’s “last push for fund-raising” will take place from 6:30 p.m. on July 23, with an all-stops-out clambake. Last year’s event was a great success; this year’s, at $150 a ticket, is expected to do still better. The price includes drinks, clams, mussels, lobster, corn, and on and on, and the proceeds will speed the opening of the restored 1902 life-saving station, it is hoped by the fall.

Finally, Mr. Cantwell announced that he has been working on a state grant to install two lighted crosswalks, one in the middle of Main Street at the entrance to the parking lot and the other on Montauk Highway, where residents of the St. Michael’s senior citizens housing complex cross to the I.G.A. Committee members were all for it — “provided,” said Ms. Bistrian, “it looks like the Bridgehampton one, not the East Hampton one.”