The Sag Harbor village board has awarded Keith Grimes Inc. of Montauk the contract to clean up and restore Haven's Beach, a remediation project that has been talked about in the village for nearly three decades.

In awarding the $373,967 contract, Mayor Brian Gilbride said village records indicate how long the beach has been a problem. "For 27 years, this has been discussed," he said.

While the village will pay for the work, it expects to be reimbursed $149,000 through a state grant, and Suffolk County is expected to split the remaining cost with Sag Harbor.

"I just want to applaud the board," said Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister, a coastal biologist whose nonprofit group lobbies for the environmental health of the East End's waterways. "You're bringing it to a place where we will see it done."

The board voted 4-0 to award the contract to Grimes, an excavating contractor and lowest bidder on the project.

Some of the people using the popular beach began complaining of rashes and other health problems in the 1990s, and village studies showed that a creek that cuts through the beach and acts as a drainage ditch had become fouled with animal waste and contributed to bacteria in the water.

In other action, the village board voted to require that cars left in its long-term parking lots be moved every three days. Officials in the village -- where parking can be at a premium in the summer -- said about 25 cars had been found in the lots for a week or more.

The board also gave permission to Sag Harbor Cub Scout Troop 455 to hold three events in the village on Sunday, June 30: a parade through the business district, a soap box derby on High Street and a celebration on Haven's Beach.

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