As with the Havens Beach stormwater logjam described on this page, officials have long wondered what to do about pollution from the privately owned Three Mile Harbor Trailer Park near Soak Hides Road. In this case, it is the Town of East Hampton grappling with potential septic contamination of groundwater that can reach a harbor. Over the years, the town, recognizing that the trailers provide low-cost housing, has pumped out the septic tanks at taxpayer expense, although there have been unproven allegations about oddities in the way this was conducted.
In a 3-2 vote earlier this month, the town board authorized an appraisal of the 16-unit, resident-owned park. The vote apparently headed off, at least for now, a $600,000 plan backed by Supervisor Bill Wilkinson to install a new sewage system there and allow the trailer park to remain in place.
As difficult as it would be for the town to help relocate those among the 2.1-acre park’s residents who wanted to continue living in the area, removing their mobile homes and restoring the low-lying land to a natural state is a worthwhile objective. The property adjoins a town nature preserve along most of the length of its borders. This would appear to make a purchase justifiable with money from the community preservation fund. In addition, any C.P.F. deal would be contingent on the residents’ agreeing to sell their property, giving them the final say. It is an idea worth exploring before the town commits to yet another new, and expensive, sewage-treatment system as a short-term solution.