Changing of Guard for East Hampton Airport Manager; Georgica Pond Algae in the Spotlight

East Hampton Airport
East Hampton Airport

Longtime East Hampton Airport Manager Jim Brundige announced late last week that he’ll be retiring at end of this season, and he’s due to leave the town’s employ just after Columbus Day, said East Hampton Councilwoman and Airport Liaison Kathee Burke-Gonzalez at a work session Sept. 2.

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said he will be replaced by Jemille Charlton, an attendant at the airport since May 2013 who has also served as a C-130 crew chief in the Air National Guard in Westhampton for 15 years and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Mr. Charlton has nearly finished his degree in aviation management at Dowling College. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said Mr. Charlton will assume Mr. Brundige’s position immediately, with Mr. Brundige assuming a more advisory role until his departure in mid-October.

“He has local roots. He’s raising his family here. He has incredible credentials and a solid background in aviation,” said Ms. Burke-Gonzalez of Mr. Charlton. The town board voted unanimously to approve his promotion at their Sept. 4 meeting.

“Happy to have Jemille aboard,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

Making a Plan for Georgica’s Algae Woes

A consortium of agencies working on the health of Georgica Pond, which this summer faced a toxic blue-green algae bloom, have put together a plan to help improve the health of the pond.

East Hampton Town Environmental Protection Director Kim Shaw outlined the plan, which was developed by the town, East Hampton Village, the East Hampton Town Trustees, Stony Brook Southampton’s marine science department and The Nature Conservency,  to the town board at their Sept. 2 work session.

Ms. Shaw said the plan suggests when the town trustees renew their expired permit to drain the pond, as they do twice annually, they should receive a permit to open it more frequently and for a longer duration, in order to help increase the tidal flushing of the pond.

The plan also includes suggestions to encourage homeowners surrounding the pond to put in rain gardens and use less lawn fertilizers.

East Hampton is also currently in the midst of developing a plan for installing better septic systems, which they’re expecting will include recommendations for alternative septic systems surrounding the pond.

“This package is pretty clear as far as the steps that need to be taken,” said Mr. Cantwell. “The direction is clear. Now we need to start taking action steps to mitigate it.

Rental Registry Hearings

The East Hampton Town Board is planning to hold public informational meetings on its proposed rental registry at its Oct. 14 work session at 10 a.m. at the Montauk Firehouse and again at their Oct. 21 work session at town hall at 10 a.m. They will be entertaining questions from the public at both meetings.

Army Corps Update

Also at the Sept. 2 work session, Ms. Shaw, the environmental protection director, said most property owners in downtown Montauk have signed easements to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to begin its beach nourishment project slated for this winter.

The town board hopes to set up a public meeting with the Army Corps and the DEC later this month.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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