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Town calls for proposals to build rec facility; community pool a requirement

The Southold Town Board on Tuesday approved a request for proposals for a major recreational facility on town-owned property in Peconic.

Officials hope to see the property developed to fill a void in community recreation while locating the facility near Cochran and Tasker parks. 

Town attorney Bill Duffy said at a work session earlier Tuesday that he omitted several requirements the board had been considering including. “We really want to have the prospective developers that do this tell us what they see as their concept for the site,” he said.

The request for proposals spells out that concept designs must include a community swimming pool and show a public benefit to Southold residents.

“We want to make sure that, if we’re going to approve a facility … there’s no better way to put it than make sure the local community can afford to join,” supervisor Scott Russell said.

Andrea Esposito, who owns the NOFO Wellness Center in Cutchogue, expressed several concerns to the Town Board during a meeting Tuesday evening.

“Is [the major recreational facility] going to encompass what I have?” she asked board members. “I’m as close to a YMCA as you can get out here.”

She said the development of a new major recreational facility could threaten her business and other small boutique gyms in the area.

“It’s going to take away all our businesses that we built up out here,” she said. “[Similar businesses] are going to be greatly affected.”

Mr. Duffy emphasized that the language in the request for proposals asks potential developers to demonstrate how their facility will complement existing recreation in the area, not compete with it.

Board members would also like to see how resident fees would stack up with non-resident fees. “This may draw people in from other towns,” Mr. Duffy noted.

The Request for Proposals will be issued within the next few days, Mr. Russell said after the meeting. Proposals will be due back in 30 days.

Records show the town purchased the 10-acre property on Carroll Avenue in 2018 for $750,000.

Caption: Andrea Esposito, who owns the NOFO Wellness Center in Cutchogue.

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