Citizens Committee on Storm Prep, A.R.B.

Emergency shelters, evacuation on ACAC agenda

   On Monday the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Commmitee discussed lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy, which struck the region on Oct. 29, as well as a proposal to do away with the town’s architectural review board.
    Kieran Brew, the committee’s chairman, raised the topic of emergency planning. “I’m just trying to start the conversation,” Mr. Brew said. “You don’t really think about it until it’s too late.”
    Members considered forming a subcommittee that would maintain a database of people needing to be picked up and evacuated in an emergency, as well as of volunteers and their particular skills.
    Designating East Hampton High School as the sole emergency shelter doesn’t make sense, said Sheila Okin, when the Napeague area is susceptible to flooding. “How do people get from Montauk to the high school?” she asked.
    Mr. Brew said he would ask Bruce Bates, East Hampton Town’s emergency preparedness coordinator, to attend a future meeting.
    Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, ACAC’s liaison to the town board, discussed a hearing last Thursday at which the board considered a proposal to merge the architectural review board with the planning board.
    Committee members were quick to note the A.R.B.’s positive influence on the appearance of the senior citizens housing recently completed on the grounds of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.
    One need only compare the original plan to what it looked like following the A.R.B.’s input, said Ms. Okin, to recognize the board’s value. An architectural review board, said John Broderick, is part of good government.
    By virtue of its two historic districts, said Jeanne Frankl, Amagansett has a particular interest in an architectural review board. An A.R.B., said Betty Mazur, “encourages more citizen participation in government,” and the community benefits from the diverse opinions and delegation of various tasks such a board allows. The planning board, she said, “has more than enough to do.” The A.R.B., Ms. Overby agreed, is an important part of the community and comes at minimal expense.
    The councilwoman also updated the committee as to the town’s draft deer management plan, which had brought some 30 speakers and many more letters and e-mails bearing a wide range of opinion before the town board. Two residents of Amagansett have written to the board to express opposition to the use of firearms in the Bell Estate area, she said. Ms. Overby encouraged committee members to make their feelings known to the board.
    The board has received four requests for qualification regarding the town’s scavenger waste treatment plant, Ms. Overby said. “I’m hopeful that we can select, as we move forward, a request for proposal that would address the comprehensive wastewater management plan, and within that plan discuss the role the scavenger waste plant would play,” she said.
    In new business, Britton Bistrian addressed the Long Island Rail Road’s Amagansett station, specifically its unattractive appearance. Wi
th no action by the railroad forthcoming, the Amagansett Village Improvement Society, said Joan Tulp, would like to help, if it could. “We have wonderful plans but no money,” Ms. Tulp said.