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East Hampton to sell its share of Poxabogue golf course

For generations, working-class families in the Hamptons have learned to play golf at a tiny nine-hole gem of a course in Sagaponack — Poxabogue Golf Club, opened in 1962.

After the golf course closed in 2002, residents of Southampton and East Hampton convinced the towns to pay $3.5 million each to purchase it in 2004, creating the only jointly-owned municipal golf course on Long Island.

Now, facing a staggering amount of municipal debt, East Hampton’s town board has voted to sell its share to Southampton for $2.4 million. The revenue is included in the proposed 2012 budget recently given to the town board by Supervisor Bill Wilkinson.

Last year, the town had to borrow $30 million to cover debts a grand jury blamed on mismanagement by a prior administration.

The town board voted 3-0 on Thursday night to approve the sale. Councilwoman Julia Prince abstained, saying a formal public hearing should be held before making the decision to sell the property.

A contract is being finalized by attorneys for both towns, and Wilkinson said he was assured East Hampton residents would be treated the same way that Southampton residents are after the sale.

Zachary Cohen, Wilkinson’s opponent in November’s supervisor election, complained that even with the sale the town would be paying 4 percent interest on its bonds until they can be retired — which cannot be done until 2014 — while it would earn 1 percent on the money it gets from Southampton.

Poxabogue — cheaper than the private courses that dot the Hamptons and closer than the nearest public courses in Riverhead — features an 87-yard fifth hole, by far the shortest on Long Island.

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