Bellport’s Ho-Hum Beach could one day hum with new security cameras after a welcome sign there went missing.
Mayor Raymond Fell said Thursday village officials plan to look again at a plan to install cameras at the Fire Island beach after the wooden sign apparently was stolen last week. The sign has not been returned, he said.
Bellport officials previously had decided not to install cameras at the beach because of logistics and cost, Fell said. The sign’s disappearance has them rethinking that decision, he said.
“We’re continuing to look at it. We’ll see where we go,” he said. “We’re going to look into putting up some sort of security camera over there.”
The beach is restricted to Bellport residents and their guests and is accessible only by boat or by foot from neighboring Fire Island communities; a village ferry goes there when the beach is open.
Bellport officials in recent years have upgraded village security by adding surveillance cameras on streets and at Bellport’s marina, golf course and community center, Fell said.
Officials also talked to a vendor about installing cameras at the beach, but they balked at the cost, he said. He added that a communication system would have to be built to transmit video from a camera at the beach to village facilities on the mainland.
“It was very expensive because there’s no full-time electricity over there,” Fell said.
Officials noticed the sign was missing on Saturday, after the beach had been closed for five days, Fell said. The apparent theft was reported to village code enforcement officers, he said.
The beach currently is open only on weekends; it will be open seven days a week starting later this month and through Labor Day, he said.
The 12-foot-long sign, which reads, “Welcome to Ho-Hum Beach,” and bears images of the American flag and the village seal, had been affixed to a post atop a snack bar at the beach. The sign had been donated to the village by residents about a decade ago.
“No one on the ferry could have done it. It’s a big sign,” Fell said. “We have people over there. We would have seen people going on the roof.”
A resident has offered to make a new sign and donate it to the village, the mayor said. Until then, he said he hopes a witness provides information that could lead to the sign’s return.
“We have had nothing yet. No one’s come forward and said, ‘I know who took that sign,’” Fell said. “With some of the publicity, maybe someone will come in at 2 o’clock in the morning and leave it at the front door.”