Fine Looms for Fire District

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has threatened to fine the Bridgehampton Fire District over a new generator at the firehouse. Christine Sampson

The Bridgehampton Fire District is facing a potential fine from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for an alleged code violation involving the district’s new generator, which a county official said was three-quarters full of fuel during an inspection conducted before the district obtained a permit for the generator.

According to a June 21 notice of violation from Suffolk County to the fire district, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, the fire district’s new generator was inspected on May 5. In the notice, Richard Meyer of the Department of Health Services Bureau of Enforcement said the district faces a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per violation, per day that the code continues to be broken, as well as civil, administrative, and/or criminal penalties of up to $37,500 per violation, per day.

According to the Department of Health Services, fines are waived “provided that prompt corrective action is taken.” The district has 60 days, beginning June 21, to correct the problem and pass an inspection.

During a July 27 fire district meeting, Bruce Dombkowski, the chairman of the board of commissioners, said the issue would be fixed soon. He said the district was waiting for a 600-amp power switch to be installed, and that the part was taking a long time to acquire, hence the holdup.

The fire district has also appointed a new commissioner to replace one who resigned in May. Robert Comfort was voted in on July 27 to replace Raymond Topping Jr., who was first elected to a five-year term in December 2011. Mr. Topping stepped down on May 25 for what Mr. Dombkowski described as personal reasons.

Mr. Comfort will serve until December, when the next fire district election is to be held.

Mr. Dombkowski did not return calls or an email seeking comment on Mr. Comfort’s appointment and the Suffolk County code violation.

The generator, behind these bushes, was reportedly three-quarters full of fuel during an inspection the county health department conducted before the district obtained the proper permit.Christine Sampson