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Good Skating


Dear Editor,

I'm sending you a copy of a letter I personally sent to East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill McGintee. I want to be a voice that is heard, one in favor of the Buckskill Winter Club of East Hampton:

Dear Mr. McGintee,

I am most concerned about your efforts to shut down Buckskill Winter Club on Buckskill Road, East Hampton. I use the words "shut down" because I find it absolutely ridiculous that the town, once again, is making it impossible for a small family business to be successful, and for what? This is outrageous! The planning board should have either issued a Certificate of Occupancy or a real reason for denying one, long ago. It is wrong for you to accept building plans, issue a building permit, and then deny the final Certificate of Occupancy based on new regulations issued after the proper and permitted construction is completed.

Furthermore, it is frightening that our elected officials don't seem to understand the needs of our community. The DeGroots, a community oriented family, have tried to provide for the community a wonderful outdoors activity during the long winter months. This skating rink has given families a lovely opportunity to be physically active outdoors, in a pleasant and safe environment, at minimal cost. It's given young people a chance to learn a new sport, practice their skills safely, spend time together in a positive way, as well as provide jobs for some. Schools are able to use the rink as an intramural sport for students who may not get a chance to visit the rink on their own.

I grew up in East Hampton attending the public school here. The winters can be long and challenging, especially for young people. I can remember waiting for a cold snap, so that I could walk to town pond for an enjoyable skate. It was few and far between that the pond would be frozen solid enough, without snow, to partake in a skating activity. With the Buckskill Winter Club, people don't need to wait for freezing temperatures; they can skate during the winter months, any day of the week without fear of thin or rough ice.

I hope that you will seriously consider the impact these undue litigations and continued denial of a Certificate of Occupancy has on our community and our level of trust for our governing officials. It would be in the best interest of all parties for the town board to stop blocking the efforts of the DeGroot's business. My family and friends like it and want to benefit from its services.

KAREN HOCHSTEDLER
January 16, 2007

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