Members of the Southampton Town Board quietly rebuked Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor this week, passing a resolution on Tuesday afternoon ordering him to maintain and empty garbage cans along Montauk Highway and Flanders Road.
The resolution, which Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst added to Tuesday’s agenda as an unannounced walk-on, instructed the highway superintendant to replace the estimated 40 trash cans that had been removed from the county and state roads in recent weeks and to ensure that they were emptied on a daily basis.
The vote was 4-0. Town Councilman Jim Malone abstained, as he had said he would prior to the meeting, explaining that he did not think the Town Board should be using legislation to overrule decisions made by another elected official.
The board also instructed Mr. Gregor, via resolution, that the Highway Department’s winter salt and sand stockpiles be made available to maintenance crews from other town departments for use on town-owned parking lots.
Mr. Gregor has butted heads often with the board during his first term of office, most recently over steep cuts to his department’s operating and capital projects budgets. The 2013 town budget cut his capital expenditures allowance for major projects by $600,000 and trimmed the department’s operating budget by $7,000 despite substantial increases in costs from contractual obligations.
Mr. Gregor said he pulled the cans because the town has not reimbursed him for the costs of putting them out and removing the waste. He also said it was not part of his duties, at least prior to Tuesday’s resolution, to maintain trash cans along county and state roads.
Town To Buy Land
The town agreed last month to buy five parcels of open space and wetlands in Quogue and Westhampton for preservation using money from its Community Preservation Fund.
In Westhampton, the town will buy 2.5 acres off Jagger Lane, near South Country Road. The sale price, to be paid to current owner Lauren Beth Rosenthal, will be $250,000. The property is primarily wetlands and makes up part of the shoreline of Brushy Creek. The property is on the town’s priority acquisition target list.
The town will also purchase four lots, totalling 4.2 acres, in Quogue Village. The sale price will be $1.2 million. The land is currently owned by Olde Quogue Pastures LLC.
Town Community Preservation Manager Mary Wilson said the properties are at the headwaters of Stone Creek and have been identified as important parcels to acquire for watershed protection.
Judge Schiavoni Sworn In
Southampton Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni was sworn in for her second term as one of four Town Justice Court judges on New Year’s Day, just minutes before taking the bench to conduct arraignments.
Ms. Schiavoni was unopposed in her bid for reelection to the town bench in November. She will serve a four-year term.
Beach Rebuilding Vote Set
Southampton Town will hold a referendum for residents of the Sagaponack Beach and Bridgehampton Beach erosion control districts at Town Hall on Saturday, February 2.
Balloting will take place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Voters will be asked to approve or reject an estimated $24 million bond proposal to hire a dredging company to excavate some 2.5 million tons of sand from offshore supplies and deposit it on the beaches and near-shore ocean bottoms along the six miles of beachhead within the two districts.
The project will be paid for with a bond taken out by the town and repaid primarily through a special tax levied over the ensuing 10 years on the districts’ property owners. Southampton Town, which owns five properties in the two districts, will contribute $1.5 million to the bond repayment over 10 years.
Only property owners within the two special taxing districts, which includes the oceanfront parcels between Flying Point Beach in Water Mill and the Sagaponack Village border with East Hampton Town, may participate in the election.
Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerk’s office until Tuesday, January 22, and must be received at the clerk’s office by Friday, February 1, or postmarked no later than Saturday, January 26.
Money For Landmarks
The Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts Board has begun a program to provide financial assistance to the owners of historic houses and structures in order to help maintain them.
The new program will use tax incentives to encourage property owners to have their historic structures designated landmarks—which would protect them from demolition or alteration—and would make funding available to help with their maintenance.