Suffolk County Legislators voted unanimously on Tuesday to transfer ownership of Long Wharf over to Sag Harbor Village, leaving just a couple of more hurdles to jump until the iconic 1,000-foot long wharf is reverted back to the village's hands.
Sag Harbor purchased the wharf 65 years ago but upon realizing that upkeep costs were more than it could handle, sold Long Wharf to Suffolk County for $1. The county has since leased the wharf to the village annually, handling larger capital improvements while the village takes care of regular maintenance and collects docking and use fees.
Though the two sides have considered solutions such as offering paid parking on the wharf or increasing the cost of boat slips, returning the wharf itself to village hands seems imminent.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is expected to sign off on the transfer, as are Sag Harbor Village officials.
Per state law, the county cannot sell the wharf privately as it is a county road.
A 100-page report finalized in early December noted the following: "Although there is the potential for minor additional revenue to offset to County’s costs, there is likely to remain a net loss for the county. The Village’s offer to take the Long Wharf back from the County is the best fiscal alternative for the County. By giving the Long Wharf to the Village, the County rids itself of an expense and a liability."
The Legislature voted in March to hand the deed to Windmill Beach — a small tract of land adjacent to the Long Wharf — over to the village, and the document was presented to the village trustees in August.