Purchase of Old Barge restaurant site still on back burner

A proposal floated last winter by Southold Town and Cornell Cooperative Extension to purchase the former Old Barge waterfront restaurant site in Southold to increase public access to the water has been on the back burner for several months because the state Department of Environmental Conservation was considering buying it, Supervisor Scott Russell said Thursday night.

Mr. Russell told marina owners meeting with the town’s economic development committee that he is uncertain whether the DEC is still interested in the property, and the town may again pursue the purchase.

The supervisor said he had been discussing the matter with DEC regional director Peter Scully, who was unavailable for comment this week.

“They may cut bait on that,” Mr. Russell said of the DEC’s interest in the property. “I have a very good rapport with Peter Scully and I didn’t want to step on his toes. But he’s still trying to find funding.”

Mr. Russell said the town’s Community Preservation Fund, a likely source for the project, has not been taking in as much money as in years past.

“CPF money is strained,” he said. “It’s constrained what we can buy.”

The 3.2-acre property on Peconic Bay, just east of Port of Egypt marina, was listed for sale by Corcoran Group for $3.1 million in 2010. The property has 1,300 feet of shoreline and the 3,900-square-foot former restaurant.

Corcoran Group agent Barry Novick, who originally handled the property, said the listing has expired but property owner Carol Denson asked him to keep his for sale sign there. Mr. Novick said he doesn’t know Ms. Denson’s current plans.

Read more in this week’s issue of The Suffolk Times, on newsstands today.

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