Good Ground Park might have public bathrooms by spring 2018—if Southampton Town officials can secure the necessary funding.
Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone and Town Engineer Christine Fetten have been planning the bathrooms, or “comfort stations,” as they are often called during ongoing discussions, that are expected to cost $600,000 to buy and install, for months. That cost includes the price of installing a traditional septic system to service the restrooms.
As of this week, Mr. Zappone said the town has secured $200,000 via a Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grant. He added that the town is now applying for an additional $400,000 in state grants for the restrooms.
He noted that he had already filed its plans with the Suffolk County Health Department, which Mr. Zappone said is the most time-consuming part of the application process.
Mr. Zappone explained that the bathrooms would be serviced by a standard septic system. He explained that the town is not opting for an advanced system for several reasons: the park is not in an environmentally sensitive area, the regular system is cheaper, and the advanced models being discussed would not be best utilized in a seasonal environment.
The deputy supervisor, who has been working on the creation of the park for the past decade, said he consulted Ms. Fetten about the advanced, nitrogen-reducing septic systems but learned that they are not ideal for a seasonal facility. The advanced systems being pushed by the town for businesses and homeowners work best when there is a constant flow of waste year-round. Officials do not expect the park to be utilized enough in the winter months to justify the investment.
Mr. Zappone also noted that if a regular system is installed, it would make it easier to connect to a sewage treatment plant if one is ever build in Hampton Bays, a component of ongoing revitalization discussions in the hamlet.