Indian Wells: ‘That Problem Has Passed’

Many Amagansett residents, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell among them, were out and about on Monday night, either at a history program on the Nazi submarine landing off Atlantic Avenue Beach or at the monthly meeting of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee, where at least a dozen extra chairs were commandeered to accommodate a good-sized crowd.

Unfortunately for the committee, the two events began just half an hour apart, and Mr. Cantwell, who is the committee’s town board liaison, resolved the conflict of interest in favor of history. That left committee members with an agenda calling for the supervisor to update them on the status of various topics of interest to the hamlet, but no supervisor. Instead, he emailed Vicki Littman, the chairwoman, with a brief summary.

The public bathrooms now under construction at the rear of the town parking lot behind Main Street are rising rapidly, but the work will stop on June 30 to make room for the inevitable summer crush of cars, and will resume after Labor Day. Workers will be on the job from Monday through Thursday for the next two weeks.

It took 9 or 10 town boards and nearly two decades of increasingly impassioned pleas from Main Street merchants and the Amagansett Library before the Suffolk County Department of Health finally okayed the plans for the privies. Mr. Cantwell had the official county document preserved for posterity in a faux-gold frame, as befitted the moment, and sent it over via the town’s chief harbormaster, Ed Michels, who unveiled it to loud applause. “It didn’t take that long to put up the space station,” Mr. Michels observed.

Mr. Michels was the evening’s guest speaker, there to talk about the town’s new beach fire regulation, which will be enforced as of June 27. The requirements that fires be in a metal container and that a two-gallon bucket of water be kept within 10 feet of the fire are likely to give Marine Patrol the most trouble, he indicated, particularly in Montauk, where “there are literally 100 fires burning every weekend — that’s what they do.” Visitors out there interpret “buckets” in all kinds of inventive ways, he said: “We’ve had them using kids’ sand pails.” The town board was to have met on Tuesday with hotel and motel owners to talk about the new rules.

Asked about past shenanigans on Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett, Mr. Michels said, “I think that problem has passed,” adding that there are “not a lot of tickets being issued in Amagansett as a whole. Montauk is the hot spot.”

Townwide, however, the numbers are surging. Marine Patrol issued 796 summonses in 2013; 1,103 in 2014, and 2,253 last year, for everything from drunkenness to the misuse of fire lanterns. The paper lanterns “are fine, until they let the tether go,” the harbormaster said. “Then it becomes an ‘unattended fire on the beach.’ ”

A number of Beach Hampton families have asked that the 30-miles-per-hour speed limit on their narrow, child-crowded roads be lowered, and Mr. Cantwell reported in his email that the New York State Department of Transportation is considering it, starting with Atlantic Avenue, Bluff Road, and Indian Wells Highway. Whether the limit on those streets is reduced to 25 miles per hour will be known by the end of this month.

The supervisor had nothing new to say about the current studies of the town’s five hamlets, which are being led by consultants with a view toward future commercial development, but several members of the audience who had attended different Amagansett sessions reported that both groups had suggested moving the post office to the long-shuttered Villa Prince, the rumored site of a 7-Eleven. Both groups agreed, they said, that “nobody wanted development.”

The evening’s final business, the nomination and election of new officers for the coming year, was quickly dispatched. Rona Klopman was re-elected secretary, with Kammy Wolf, who has filled in for her on occasion, as co-secretary. Jim McMillan was re-elected vice chairman and Ms. Littman was re-elected chairwoman. There were no other nominations and all the votes were unanimous.