Shinnecocks urge Southampton officials to spend $5.3M to preserve tribal burial site

 Shinnecocks urge Southampton officials to spend $5.3M to preserve tribal burial site

Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and their supporters — including Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters — are urging the Southampton Town Board to spend $5.3 million and preserve a property in the tribe’s ancient burial area.

The land, owned by members of the Nappa family, is at 536 Montauk Hwy., the summit of Sugar Loaf Hill where the tribe has buried its ancestors for 3,000 years.

“It really is and has been documented as the most significant Indian burial site in the state of New York,” Kelly Dennis, a member of the Shinnecock Nation Tribal Council of Trustees, told the board Tuesday during the town’s first in-person meeting in nearly a year.

Under the deal, the nonprofit Peconic Land Trust would purchase the title and demolish a home on the property. The town would then buy the development rights from the land trust using $5.3 million from the Community Preservation Fund, which is funded through a 2% tax on real estate transfers.

An online real estate listing for the 4.5-acre property says the 7,000-square-foot home has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an inground pool and describes it as “something out of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden,’ ” a book first published in 1911.

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