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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman today announced the transfer of
ownership of Shinnecock Dock to the Town of Southampton. The County transferred
the deed to the Town of Southampton in an agreement that not only gives the
Town the 2 acre dock but an 11 acre beach front along Shinnecock Bay that
stretches to almost Road I.
The Shinnecock Dock is home to two dozen
commercial fishing boats, one of the largest commercial fishing fleets in New
York State. Until this transfer, it was owned by Suffolk County but
operated by the Town of Southampton under an inter-municipal agreement.
The Commercial Dock was initially
developed in the early 1980’s by the Suffolk County Department of Public
Works. In 2002, the Town of Southampton entered into an Inter-municipal
agreement with the County as a tenant to operate, manage and repair the Shinnecock
Commercial Dock “to foster, enhance and secure success of the local commercial
fishing industry.” During those years, the Town shared in the costs of
repairs and upgrades with the County, including after Superstorm Sandy in 2013.
“This is another great example of municipalities working together to protect taxpayers while making smart investments that help our region realize its full potential,” said County
Executive Steve Bellone. “I want to thank Supervisor Schneiderman for his willingness to enter into this agreement that will highlight a crowned jewel on the East End and catalyze an important revitalization project in the town.”
“Our commercial fishing industry is a vital part of our economy and our history,” said Southampton Town Supervisor
Jay Schneiderman. “I want to thank County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and New York State Senator Ken LaValle for working together to make this transfer happen.”
The transfer required approval from the
Town and County as well as the State Legislature because parkland was changing
ownership from one governmental entity to another.
“I am very pleased that Southampton Town is now the proud owner of the Shinnecock Commercial Dock,” said Southampton
Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, whose family is part of the commercial fishing
industry. “Our commercial fishing industry is a significant
contributor to the economy. Captains and crews of these vessels are the
bread-winners for many of our local fishing families. These boats provide
the fresh wild caught seafood that is served in restaurants and fish markets
across our Town, and around the world. The industry indirectly supports
other related sectors of business, including bait and tackle shops, local
hardware stores, welders, electricians, and many others. Taking ownership
of the infrastructure that is so important to our fishermen shows that the Town
understands the importance of supporting this historical industry.”
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. stated, “I was pleased to work with Legislator Fleming and the Town of Southampton in getting the enabling legislation passed last Session to allow for the transfer. Now, that the Town is officially the owner of the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Dock, necessary repairs and dock improvements can move forward to better serve our thriving fishing industry without burdening county taxpayers.”
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming
said, “The transfer will consolidate government services, reduce the burden on taxpayers, assure local control and maintenance, and allow the Town to begin a revitalization project of the area that will benefit the commercial fishing industry and visitors alike.”
The next phase of rehabilitation will be
bulkhead replacement and electrical infrastructure upgrades. The bay
front property west of the dock will be added to the Town’s Parks and
A ceremonial transfer of the deed is
scheduled for June 28th at 11am at Shinnecock Dock.