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Riverhead Town beaches to be equipped with Wi-Fi

Riverhead Town’s beaches will be going high tech this summer, with Wi-Fi availability planned at all four beaches and beach stickers that will be linked into the town’s software system, according to parks and recreation superintendent Ray Coyne. 

Wi-Fi is already active at South Jamesport Beach and the East Creek docks. 

The parks department initially started out by just replacing the booths at all of the beaches, Mr. Coyne said. 

“They’ve got to be about 25 to 30 years old,” he told the Town Board last Thursday. “They are breaking down, and the beach attendants don’t even use them anymore. They sit outside.”

Mr. Coyne said new booths are planned at the four beaches and at the docks in South Jamesport. The booths will have a desk and chair and will be able to be locked, he said.

In addition, Mr. Coyne said, residents will be able to purchase beach stickers online and the town will be able to track sticker sales remotely from each site.

“Traditionally, at the beach, we would sell them off the sticker books and we would have to keep manual records of it,” he said. “What we are proposing now is to construct new beach booths and put power and Wi-Fi in them.”

Councilman Frank Beyrodt asked if beachgoers would be able to access the Wi-Fi.

“Yes, the Wi-Fi will be for the whole beach,” Mr. Coyne said.

“It sounds like we are really changing with the times,” Councilwoman Catherine Kent said. 

The total cost of the Wi-Fi upgrades will be under $100 per year, according to deputy town engineer Ken Testa. 

The town plans to pay for the beach upgrades by using $42,000 left unspent from a project last year to upgrade the bathrooms at Reeves Park Beach, Mr. Coyne said. 

“I am proposing just to take the rest of that fund and move it over and construct the beach booths, so it’s not taxpayer money,” Mr. Coyne told the Town Board. “It’s park and recreation fees and we feel this will go along way.”

The booth upgrades will cost about $10,000 each, he said.

“I’m sure the residents will be happy to have Wi-Fi at the beach,” Ms. Kent said.

“It works very well at East Creek and at South Jamesport Beach,” Mr. Testa said.