The Southampton Town Trustees will rename the southern shoreline of Lake Agawam in Southampton Village in honor of retiring Trustee Fred Havemeyer, who spearheaded the board’s efforts to revitalize the area.
The shoreline, now known unofficially as simply part of Lake Agawam Park, will be renamed Fred Havemeyer Park.
“This project has exemplified how Freddy has worked as a Trustee,” Trustee Jon Semlear said of the shoreline, as he called for the resolution to dedicate the park for Mr. Havemeyer to be approved. “My feeling is, this would be very fitting for his dedication and years of service.”
Mr. Havemeyer did not seek reelection to a sixth term this year and will leave the Trustees at the end of the year after serving on the board for 11 years. Mr. Semlear is also retiring from the Trustees after more than 20 years.
“Fred has worked tirelessly on this project, which was kind of in a bad situation when he took over,” Trustee Eric Shultz said. “We didn’t have any money to work on it, but he generated the revenue that allowed us to fix it up, and it’s an example of his hard work on this board.”
The Trustees took control of the southern shoreline of the lake in 2007 from Southampton Village, which had filled in approximately 75 feet of marshy lake shoreline in the 1960s to create 100 new parking spots. With a restoration of the shoreline in mind, the Trustees created a new parking permit for the lot, which is used primarily by members of the Southampton Bathing Corporation. The Trustees banked some $175,000 in revenues from the $150 parking permits over three years and, in 2010, bonded for an additional $300,000 to begin refurbishing the southern end of the lake.
A wooden bulkhead that had rotted and largely fallen apart from neglect was replaced with a non-toxic vinyl one. A buffer of vegetation and porous ground material was created landward of the bulkhead to capture rainwater flowing off the roadway and nearby lawns before it flooded into the lake. A dock and benches were installed along the bulkhead.
“Runoff was coming from as far away as Pond Lane, all the way down and around the corner—just a huge amount of runoff ends up there,” Mr. Havemeyer said of the need to improve the runoff abatement at the south end of Agawam as part of an ongoing effort to improve water quality in the lake. “We are hoping the towns and the village would see this as a model for taking care of storm water runoff. Unfortunately, it seems that has not gained any traction.”