Needed: Beach Vendors

    Three vendors who won bids last year to sell food and drink at Montauk beaches or road-ends are relinquishing their sites, opening the way for others.
    Bids will be accepted beginning March 14 by East Hampton Town’s Purchasing Department on the right to vend at the westernmost parking lot at Ditch Plain, at Kirk Park, and at the end of West Lake Drive.
    Bidding will also be reopened on exclusive rights to sell at two locations on which no one bid last year: Gin Beach in Montauk and Maidstone Park in East Hampton.
    At a work session on Tuesday, town board members briefly discussed whether to provide electricity at the vending locations so that food trucks would not have to rely on generators. The noise from generators at Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett generated complaints from beachgoers last year, and one vendor has asked the town to have electrical hookups installed. Last year, board members had said that the cost of extending electric lines to the parking spots used by food trucks should be borne by the vendors themselves. However, incorporating that requirement midway through their contracts with the town was considered problematic.
    On Tuesday, Town Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said that, to address citizens’ complaints, the town should bear the cost of installing electric lines but charge vendors for electric usage.
 “The beaches are a place that people should be able to enjoy the peace and solitude that is supposed to be offered by this town,” she said.
    Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc agreed that the noise of generators impedes the peaceful enjoyment of the beach. However he thought the vendors should subsidize the cost of the electric installations, which would have to be provided for all the spots the town leases out. The board did not come to a conclusion on the matter.