The East Hampton, New York town board has snubbed NIMBYs and
unanimously decided to seek an FAA grant to build a deer fence
around the airport's perimeter. The fence is expected to cost as
much as $800,000. Some residents are against it, not because the
fence isn't needed, but because they fear the grant will give the
FAA too much power to override local noise and safety concerns.
The board's unanimous vote followed what the Sag Harbor Express
called a "contentious" three-hour public hearing in which nearly 50
residents spoke, most in favor of accepting federal money. The
following day, attorney Jeffrey Bragman, representing The Committee
to Stop Airport Expansion, was turned down by state Justice John J.
J. Jones, Jr. in his request for a temporary restraining order
against the town.
Town board member Dominick Stanzione tells the Express the
application has been filed with the FAA, and he hopes for approval
"sooner rather than later." he also hopes working with the FAA will
eventually lead to at least a seasonal control tower for the
airport, and that the resulting Class-D airspace would allow
controllers to better implement noise abatement procedures.
The town board believes it can take a federal Airport
Improvement Grant, yet still implement measures such as a curfew.
Much remains to be seen.