Pictured Above: Strong’s Yacht Center, with the hill where the new boat storage buildings behind the existing buildings, as seen from across Mattituck Inlet.

To the Editor,

Community members have done an excellent job of raising awareness about the concerns related to the proposed Strong’s warehouse development project on Mattituck Inlet. The project calls for the construction of two yacht storage facilities, 52,000 square feet and 49,000 square feet, on the inlet. Construction will require the removal of more than 600 mature trees adjacent to Mill Road Preserve and the removal of 134,000 cubic yards of sand, among other worrying details.  

In addition to the concerns about the environment, the impact on Mill Road Preserve, truck traffic during the construction period, fire safety, the degradation to community character, we’d like to add the very real risk of starting and not finishing the project. Given the threat of recession, rising interest rates, supply chain issues, the instability of banks, volatility of demand for the service, there’s the risk that the project starts but never gets completed.  

In this scenario, we get all of the downsides of the project and none of the upside. We are left with a hole in the ground.

And what is the upside for the community, as described by the developer?

According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, we can expect:  

  • Up to 11 jobs – the DEIS does not specify the nature of these jobs, but it’s fair to assume that they are seasonal and primarily low-wage.  Nor does the DEIS guarantee that these jobs would go to North Fork residents.
  • Sales tax – there is no direct benefit to Southold from any additional state sales tax
  • Property taxes — the project would be eligible for a 485-b Business Investment Exemption for ten years.  As a result, the estimated increase in property taxes for the first 3 years would be $32,234, Year 4 would be $37,677.  These numbers are roughly what 3 homeowners pay in property taxes. 

The risks far outweigh the rewards.

Anne Sherwood Pundyk and Jeff Pundyk

Editor’s Note: The Southold Town Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for this project on Monday, May 15 , 2023 at 6 p.m. at Southold Town Hall. A Zoom link is posted on the agenda for those unable to participate in person.

East End Beacon
The East End Beacon is your guide to social and environmental issues, arts & culture on the East End of Long Island.

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