Village Roadwork Is Criticized

New pavement on Conklin Terrace in East Hampton Village is not up to some of the street residents' standards. David E. Rattray

A recent resurfacing of Conklin Terrace left much to be desired, residents of the street told the East Hampton Village Board on Friday. 

A contractor resurfaced the street on Oct. 2 in what Michael Bouker, the deputy superintendent of public works, described as an effort to preserve it and extend its lifetime. Minor repairs were done before the resurfacing, he said. “We’ve been doing this since 2008,” he said. “We’ve had some good results. It’s an intermediate step meant to extend the lifetime of the road.” 

But Sara Adams, one of several residents of Conklin Terrace to attend the meeting, complained of the “poor quality of work” on the road. “We, the residents, did not ask for our street to be repaved, and as a matter of fact we thought it was fine the way it was,” she said. Since the resurfacing, “the road is rough, jagged, uneven, unsightly, and ugly, with unfinished edges and irregular sides,” she said.

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Betsy Petroski Smith brought another issue to the board’s attention, that of ‘the over-proliferation of magazines and publications that are littering our streets and sidewalks on Main Street and Newtown Lane.’

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Ms. Adams and her neighbors “believe as a neighborhood community and taxpayers that we deserve better than what was laid down,” which “has greatly damaged the quality of our neighborhood.” Drainage issues were also not addressed, she said. She asked that the board “approve and grant us a new resurfaced roadway that is properly paved with hot asphalt to correct the damage done to Conklin Terrace.” Residents of the block planned to submit a petition to the board bearing that request this week

Asked by Barbara Borsack, a member of the board, when the full repaving of the street would be scheduled, Mr. Bouker answered that it would be some years off. “We’re going to see how it wears,” he said of the dead-end street. “It’s a low-volume road.”

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. asked the residents to remain in contact with Mr. Bouker “to see if we can get through some of these issues. . . . We don’t want you to think that you’re a stepchild because you’re a dead-end street. . . . We accept your comments, we’ll try to work with you.” The board will discuss the matter with Scott Fithian, the superintendent of public works, he said, but would not make any guarantees, especially in light of the cost incurred from the recent resurfacing. “It’s not going to happen this year,” he said. 

Another resident of Conklin Terrace, Betsy Petroski Smith, brought another issue to the board’s attention, that of “the over-proliferation of magazines and publications that are littering our streets and sidewalks on Main Street and Newtown Lane.” These periodicals, she said, “are being dumped at a weekly rate, left to blow around, create a mess, especially after a rainstorm, and becoming an ugly eyesore in our beautiful village throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons.” 

A Facebook page called East Hampton Magazines Littering Our Sidewalks documents “this mess in town,” Ms. Petroski Smith said, and its members are “wondering why the village board is allowing this to happen.” She asked that the board develop a plan to “take control of the situation before next spring and to clean up this mess for us.” 

“We recognize it’s an ongoing problem,” the mayor said. “We’re trying to grapple with it. I can assure you that the office of the village administrator, working with D.P.W., we’re attempting to make it better than it is already. . . . But indeed your comment is well spoken. We don’t really care for it either.” 

Also at the meeting, the board adopted amendments to the village code. One prohibits parking for a distance of 75 feet on the northern side of Fithian Lane. The restriction is in response to residents’ concerns about a line-of-sight problem. For the same reason, another amendment prohibits parking on Cross Highway from its intersection with Further Lane north to Hither Lane, on its east side from the intersection with Montauk Highway south to Hither Lane, and on both sides of Georgica Road from its intersection with Briar Patch Road to Montauk Highway. 

A third amendment limits the hours of beach fires to between 6 p.m. and midnight. All three amendments were given public hearings earlier in the meeting, none of which elicited comment. 

The board set its Nov. 17 meeting as the date for public hearings on amendments that would make parking restrictions for the last 10 spaces on Railroad Avenue before King Street consistent with the adjoining section, and prohibit parking in designated locations on Race Lane to address a line-of-sight issue. 

The board also approved a $17,945 proposal from Green Power Technology for the purchase of an electric-vehicle charging station to be installed in the long-term parking lot off Railroad Avenue. A $16,000 grant from the State Department of Environmental Conservation will offset the cost. 

Becky Hansen, the village administrator, said on Monday that she anticipated the station to be installed within the next month.