Beware, Illegal Dumpers

Contractors and homeowners who for years have avoided paying dump fees by leaving building debris and household castoffs in the woods along Town Line Road and Merchant’s Path, north of Montauk Highway in Wainscott, might want to think again: Someone may be watching.

The East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday agreed to let Highway Superintendent Stephen Lynch purchase low-cost video cameras that they hope will catch illicit dumpers in the act.

“There’s some feeling that this is a dumping area,” said Councilwoman Theresa Quigley.

“There needs to be a concerted effort that this is no longer a no-man’s land,” said Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc.

The board also gave the go-ahead for the Highway Department to make signs announcing that the area is under video surveillance to thwart would-be scofflaws.

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson suggested the town “try to engage a private-public partnership to clean it up” that would involve enlisting the aid of Boy Scouts, high school students, and other community groups in a clean-up day.

“I’d also like to see violators do some community service,” said Mr. Van Scoyoc.

Zachary Cohen, chairman of the town’s nature preserve committee, said cameras would probably also record a large number of motorcyclists taking their bikes along trails in the area.

Mr. Wilkinson said the cameras might have yet another use.  “We’ll get a deer count, too,” he remarked.