Idea pitched for Southold Town to acquire Cedar Beach County Park

Cedar Beach Krysten Massa Photo

The Southold Town Board discussed the possibility of acquiring Cedar Beach County Park — an idea that gained little traction.

If that were to occur, according to director of public works Jeff Standish, the parking lot would need repaving and a bath house would be needed.

Mr. Standish, who pitched the idea at Tuesday’s Town Board work session, said he would need to know the cost to taxpayers before the town embarks on such a large endeavor.

Supervisor Scott Russell said he needs a concrete reason why the town should assume responsibility for the Southold beach, and would also need to decide whether to maintain it as a county beach or make it a town beach. Right now, anyone from Suffolk County can enjoy Cedar Beach for free.

“It needs a substantial amount of money,” Mr. Russell said. “If we accept our current beach stickers down there, we’re not creating revenue because the stickers have already been issued.”

No board members expressed interest in sharing responsibilities with the county, as they fear the financial burden would fall on them.

“I think it’s definitely worth exploring because the town doesn’t have very much property at all,” Councilwoman Jill Doherty said. “We all know our beaches are totally overcrowded and they’re only going to get worse, and this would be an excellent asset.”

Mr. Russell, responding to the original story published in Thursday’s Suffolk Times, reiterated that there would need to be a more specific reason as to why the town should consider it. He outlined several concerns he had about the prospect of the town acquiring the county park, such as the costs involved and legal hurdles. While he remained open to the possibility, he was skeptical it was a worthwhile endeavor.

Photo credit: Krysten Massa

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