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Southold awaiting state approval to move kiosks to information booths


Kiosks installed late last year were recently taken down as the town awaits state approval to relocate them closer to various information booths.

Supervisor Scott Russell has described the kiosks as “tourist guides” listing historical information and attractions for Mattituck, Cutchogue, Southold and Greenport.

Two kiosks had been installed in Mattituck and Southold, he said. The others slated for Cutchogue and Greenport have remained in storage.

Once the state Department of Transportation signs off on the project, the Mattituck and Cutchogue kiosks will both move next to the tourist information booth at Laurel Lake, Mr. Russell said. The Southold and Greenport kiosks will move next to the information booth near the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on Route 25 in Greenport.

“We’re going to have to double up the hamlets because we have no information booths in Southold or Cutchogue,” the supervisor said.

After two kiosks were installed last November — one at the corner of Main Road and Youngs Avenue in Southold, the other near Love Lane and Pike Street in Mattituck — residents complained the three-sided, seven-foot tall structures were a visual blemish on the hamlets. In addition, some Mattituck residents said they felt the kiosk blocked all-too-rare parking spaces.

“When the kiosks went in, there was a huge public backlash to the locations,” Mr. Russell said. “Aesthetically, they weren’t consistent with what people expected from their downtowns, so they’re all in the process of being relocated.”

They were removed about two months ago and are now being stored at the town’s highway department building until the town receives a state grant for the kiosk project.

Their move is the latest step in a saga that stretches back more than a decade. The town’s Transportation Committee concocted the idea and received federal funding in 2006, but due to delays over the years — especially when seeking approval from the state DOT — the kiosks were only installed in November.

“It was actually done so long ago that the original grant was secured by [former] Congressman [Felix] Grucci,” Mr. Russell said.

Since it took so long for the kiosks to be installed in the first place, Mr. Russell was hesitant to estimate when they will be moved to their new locations.

“Given the timeframe it took to get them approved the first time, I would say not any time soon,” Mr. Russell said when asked about an unveiling date.

Photo caption: An information kiosk in Southold last winter before it was taken down. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

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