Vendors who offered the winning high bids on exclusive rights to sell food at a number of town-owned beaches and parks were announced at an East Hampton Town Board meeting on Tuesday.
Before contracts are finalized, the bids will have to be formally approved by the town board, after verification with the Suffolk Health Department that the vendors have permission to sell the food items on their menus.
Lili Adams, the owner of the Ditch Witch, appears poised to remain in her traditional spot at Otis Road near Ditch Plain Beach in Montauk after offering to pay the town $27,600 for a three-year contract.
Until last year, setting up shop at the town’s designated vending spots was first come first served. But with an ever-increasing number of vendors vying for parking locations and customers, the town board instituted a bidding procedure last season.
Rather than simply awarding a contract to the highest bidder, the technique adopted this year, bids were evaluated according to a points system that, along with the monetary bid, weighed other factors, such as familiarity with the community.
A hue and cry erupted when it was announced that, under that system, the Ditch Witch would be ousted from its usual spot. The town board subsequently found fault with the process and threw out all the bids, allowing the vendors to set up last summer as they had previously, without paying the town.
Those expected to be awarded contracts based on their three-year bids are, at Ditch Plain Beach, besides the Ditch Witch, Montaco, for $12,575, John Bogetti, for $22,524, and Turf Lobster Roll, which will pay $12,000 to set up at the dirt lot at Otis Road for the next three years.
Also in Montauk, Scott Bogetti was the highest bidder for a vending spot at Kirk Park, for $10,550, and Jimmy Hewitt, the owner of the Shagwong restaurant, offered $10,000 for the location at the end of West Lake Drive.
The town did not set minimum bids for any of the locations. According to Jeanne Carroza, the town purchasing agent, no bids were received for vending at Gin Beach in Montauk or Maidstone Park in East Hampton. Town board members suggested issuing a new notice to bidders for vending at those locations.
At Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett, Craig Denice of Craig’s Ice Cream is expected to set up shop, paying $20,002, and Doreen Drohan, who bid $18,000, will offer items from Doreen’s Clam Bar, once the contracts are formally approved.
Kenny Preuss of Dune Doggie, a hot dog truck that has been a fixture for decades at Indian Wells, did not submit a bid.
Other vending spots designated in the town code for which exclusive contracts are not awarded can be used by itinerant peddlers, who may stay at one location for only a limited amount of time.