November 22, 2006
AVIS Worried About The Trees
As time goes by, improvements designed to enhance Amagansett's Main Street may actually prove detrimental.
That was the message Mary Fallon, a former East Hampton Town Supervisor and member of the Amagansett Village Improvement Society, imparted to the town board last Friday. Reading a letter from AVIS president Marguerite Gualtieri, Fallon expressed the group's concern about what town officials see as a beautification effort.
Recently, the town highway department has improved the existing sidewalks on Main Street in front of the central shops, adding fresh concrete and new bricks. AVIS is concerned the new hard structures could affect the health of trees along the street, preventing them from getting all the water and food they need. Fallon expressed particular concern regarding setting the bricks in cement.
Supervisor Bill McGintee said the choice to use cement was made, in part, because the more traditional strategy of setting bricks in dirt can be problematic. Over time settling occurs and the resultant uneven surface can be a safety and liability issue. Additionally vegetation grows up between the bricks, which is unsightly. The new walkways on North Main Street and in sections of the village are constructed the same way, he said.
Upon receiving the first word of concern, the supervisor said he checked with village administrator Larry Cantwell and highway superintendent Chris Russo. According to McGintee both opined the trees would be fine. McGintee reported that a comparable tree, with the same brick/cement set-up, is located in the alleyway near Rowdy Hall in the village. It is flourishing.
Still, in the face of AVIS worry, McGintee said he'd have some experts check things out.
Earlier this month McGintee expressed the hope of undertaking a systematic beautification effort throughout the town's hamlet centers. The new walkways in Amagansett build on the North Main Street beautification project, which has been undertaken in partnership with East Hampton Village and Suffolk County.