East Hampton ditches its share of debt-heavy park at a loss

June 29, 2012 02:30PM

East Hampton Town is set to sell off its stake in the Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack to Southampton Town for less than $3.25 million after legislation approving the deal passed last week in Albany, the East Hampton Star reported. East Hampton and Southampton each purchased a 50 percent share of the 39-acre golf course for a total of $6.5 million in 2004. Now that the state has given the authorization needed to sell public parks or recreational land, Southampton will take full control of the property.

The sudden liquidation of the public land comes in response to mounting debt from the original purchase of the course. East Hampton still owes $3 million in principal and interest on the bond issued to buy its share of Poxabogue. The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay $180,000 a year for four years on the debt and then to pay the bond off in full, saving $100,000 in interest costs. Ultimately the deal represents a net loss for the town. “It’s interesting in some ways, because basically the asset is diminished because it’s now parkland,” Councilman Van Scoyoc said.

Part of the legislation authorizing the sale stipulates that the park must remain open to East Hampton residents but does not address whether citizens will continue to receive residents’ discounted fees. [EHS]