A new, $150,000 public comfort station on South Edison Street near Nick’s beach will be open and ready to use by Memorial Day, according to East Hampton Town Councilwoman Julia Prince, with indigenous-plant landscaping to begin as soon as the weather warms. The facility will be open only during the day and while lifeguards are on duty, Ms. Prince said.
Public toilets are required by the Suffolk County Health Department wherever there are lifeguards, and several years ago, the department had threatened to close the popular stretch of beach in the downtown area. Instead, portable toilets were put up, causing complaints about smell and garbage. As questions arose last year about financing, the Health Department granted the town another reprieve, but it warned that swimming would be prohibited if permanent toilets weren’t in place before the start of the 2011 season.
At a meeting of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee earlier this month, Ms. Prince told members that the ocean rescue squad’s JetSki would be stored in a part of the building. She also said she was considering whether to ask the town board to build a garage there for the lifeguards’ truck. It has been parked at night at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center, Ms. Prince said, but will not be allowed there once a new phase of construction at the center gets under way.
Yesterday, by phone, Ms. Prince said the construction was expected to cost $15,000 less than budgeted, which could pay for a garage, but, she said, she was inclined to wait to see if unexpected expenses for the structure or landscaping arose.
“We have it, I’m just not sure if we’re prepared to spend it,” she said.