Mecox Bay Park, a tiny stretch of coastline that hosted regattas through the late 1800s and now sports a dilapidated boat shed built in the 1950s, is getting a makeover.
The spot at the end of Bay Lane in Water Mill is just large enough to support the ramshackle shed and three boat racks where lottery-winning residents can store their canoes and small sailboats for $125 per season. Sunlight streams into the holes in the tiny wooden house, which now shelters an old tarp and an empty wasps’ nest.
The Southampton Town Board has finally decided to address the eyesore. Last Thursday, October 19, Assistant Town Attorney Kathryn Garvin, Town Parks Director Kristen Doulos and Assistant Town Parks Director Bryan Bortzfield outlined a proposal for board members to cajole them to approve the use of reserve park funds to replace the shed.
“The idea of this shed is not just to fix up what’s there but to have a structure that allows people to leave their sails there and maybe, sometime in the future, have a sailing program again,” Ms. Garvin said at last week’s meeting.
The group proposed the purchase of a ready-made shed to avoid the costs of construction. “It comes on a truck already built,” Mr. Bortzfield said. “They’re designing it to our specs. It’s much easier to assemble this kind of structure—prevailing wages will be a lot less.”
Ms. Garvin estimated that the shed, which they plan to buy from Walpole Woodworkers in Water Mill and add on pilings and a small porch, will cost about $83,000.
Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka said they will cosponsor a resolution to approve the use of the funds. Ms. Garvin already has approvals from the Southampton Town Conservation Board and the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and will file for a building permit after the funds are approved.
Ms. Garvin anticipates that the replacement shed won’t be installed until next spring at the earliest, citing the various approvals that still need to happen. “I don’t expect it to be done before next year,” she said. “Hopefully, it will be in the spring, depending on how bad winter is.”