The Suffolk Legislature has approved a measure transferring ownership of Noyac Road, a two-lane strip that passes passes through North Sea, Noyac and Sag Harbor, to the Town of Southampton.
The legislation, sponsored by Legis. Jay Schneiderman (R-Montauk) was approved by the Legislature on Dec. 21 and signed into law Thursday by County Executive Steve Levy.
The move was supported by the Noyac Civic Council. “Local control is big out here,” said Schneiderman, a Montauk resident.
Residents in small communities on the East End are often fearful that officials in the Suffolk Legislature who aren’t familiar with the character of the area will make changes that residents wouldn’t approve of, Schneiderman said. Taking the power out of those officials’ hands is a way to prevent that.
The county has owned Noyac Road since the 1930s, when towns were not eligible to apply for federal grants for road maintenance. The county took over the road to help Southampton receive federal aid for its maintenance.
Not everyone is happy about the change.
Town of Southampton Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor, who was not available for comment, has expressed concern to Schneiderman that Noyac Road needs financial support from the county.
The road has not received support, however, from cash-strapped county, according to Schneiderman.
“To try and force the county to have to pay for it, when the only reason we took the ownership was to help the town, doesn’t seem fair,” Schneiderman said.
Although officials have signed off on the transfer, the town will not take control of the road until some legal matters are ironed out. Southampton can decide not to take over the road at any time until then.