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Jul 11, 2017 3:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Announces Multiple Capital Projects, To Be Funded With Surplus Funds

Southampton Town Police headquarters. JEN NEWMAN
Jul 11, 2017 3:44 PM

Several capital projects were recently put on a fast track by Southampton Town officials, including a study of a plan to add a second story to the Town Police headquarters in Hampton Bays, and renovations of Town Hall, the Ponquogue fishing pier and the Flanders Community Center.

The proposed capital projects are part of a new Southampton Town policy, adopted earlier this year, to take 75 percent of any unanticipated surplus in the town’s fund balance at the end of each year and put that money toward capital projects, instead of borrowing—and paying interest—to do them in the future.

This year, according to Town Comptroller Len Marchese, there is approximately $3 million in unanticipated surplus funds at the end of the 2016 budget. Of that, $1.76 million will be allocated to the projects from the 2017 capital budget. Town officials project the surplus at the end of the 2017 budget to provide another $1.89 million for capital projects.

At a July 6 Town Board work session, Mr. Marchese, along with Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Zappone, Director of Municipal Works Christine Fetten, and Parks Director Kristen Doulos, proposed that the town invest the $3.6 million of two years of surplus funds in five major facility projects, along with several park upgrades.

Police Headquarters

The first project would focus on the public safety divisions located in Hampton Bays, specifically the police department headquarters and the offices of the bay constables, fire marshals, Code Enforcement, Animal Control and Justice Court.

According to Mr. Marchese, the $456,000 project will include a feasibility study on whether a second floor can be added to current police headquarters in order to accommodate the other public safety offices.

The plan also will explore another option: a separate but adjacent building to police headquarters, which would be for Justice Court, with an underground access point between the two buildings to maximize safety when transferring suspects for trials and hearings.

The project also will include the replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the facility.

On Tuesday, the Town Board approved an amendment to the capital budget, putting $75,000 toward the project. An additional $308,500 in capital funds is expected to be allocated in the 2018 budget.

A timetable for the feasibility study, or when work would begin to replace the building’s HVAC system, was not yet available.

Town Hall

At Southampton Town Hall, located in Southampton Village, an independent heating system will be needed in three years.

That’s when a contract expires with the Southampton School District, through which the district provides heat to the municipal building from the neighboring Southampton Elementary School. An underground copper pipe delivers heat to Town Hall from the basement of the elementary school. It is distributed throughout the building through a mix of outdated steam radiators, air handlers and heat pumps.

Along with installing two new natural gas boiler systems in the building and replacing ductwork all over Town Hall, capital funds will go toward improving the building’s elevator and ramp accessibility, sanitary systems and flooring, as part of the multi-year project, Mr. Marchese said. He estimated that the total project cost would be $2.3 million, with $1.58 million coming out of the surplus capital money for 2017 and 2018.

On Tuesday, the Town Board awarded a $32,000 contract to Mineola-based engineering consultant Bowne AE&T Group to design the entrance ramp and elevator modernization portion of the project.

Mr. Marchese said he expects the design work to be completed by this fall, and at that time design work for the new heating system can begin. The entire Town Hall project would likely take three years to complete, he added.

Town Hall was constructed in 1912 and was previously an elementary school that was heated by coal. The town renovated the building in the 1980s, installing an elevator, a ramp to the lower level and classroom-to-office renovations, but since that time very few updates have taken place.

Ponquogue Fishing Pier

A project to repair damage to the Ponquogue Fishing Pier resulting from Hurricane Sandy is expected to be 90-percent funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement grants, Mr. Marchese said.

Approximately $1.18 million of this year’s surplus funds will be used to pay for the repairs to the Hampton Bays pier, allowing the town to then apply for the federal aid to reimburse most of the work. The cost of the entire project is expected to be around $1.78 million, with $178,848 of that amount ultimately funded by the town.

According to Mr. Marchese, a request for proposals will go out at the end of the month, and construction will begin in the fall.

The project will involve substantially removing the northern section of the pier and repairing and re-railing it. The southern section will be restored by adding piling, replacing structural supports, decking and handrails. Due to FEMA restrictions, the town cannot improve the pier beyond what was there before the storm, he noted.

On Tuesday, the Town Board voted to amend the town’s capital budget to budget for the $1.18 million still needed to complete the project.

When Suffolk County first completed construction of the new Ponquogue Bridge in the 1980s, they donated the remaining portions of the old bridge, built in the 1920s, to the town for the recreational fishing piers on the two shores.

Flanders Community Center

The Flanders Community Center, located in the hamlet off Flanders Road, is expected to be renovated through the additional capital money, with a sports court installed in the back of the facility.

The estimated $245,100 project will include completing an unfinished lower level of the building, adding two offices on the first floor for town staff, and the construction of a multi-use sports court in the rear yard of the building, complete with outdoor security lighting.

A capital project summary sheet given to the Town Board notes that $54,090 will be needed from the 2017 capital funds surplus and $125,500 from the 2018 surplus.

There is currently no timetable yet for the project.

Jackson Avenue 
Administration Complex

In addition to a potential second floor added to police headquarters, renovations were proposed by Mr. Marchese and Ms. Fetten for other town facilities located off Jackson Avenue in Hampton Bays.

That project will include the demolition and relocation of the old parks administration office, the replacement of the Justice Court roof, and the preparation of a master design plan for a new layout of administration offices.

The infrastructure work throughout the complex is expected to cost approximately $564,000 to complete, with $330,650 of those funds to be taken out of the capital fund surplus for 2017 and 2018.

Currently, the town’s Highway Administration, Parks Maintenance Administration and shuttle bus offices are either housed in trailers or in aging structures off Jackson Avenue. A feasibility study will be the bulk of the project, to see if the structures can be consolidated, according to town documents. The study also will look to potentially relocate the Town Trustees offices, currently located in Town Hall, to the consolidated building in Hampton Bays.

The Town Board approved $180,650 in capital funding for the project out of the 2017 capital project budget. An additional $150,000 is expected to be taken out next year.

Parks Projects

A capital project is expected to begin at Ludlam Avenue Park in Riverside, with a new 2,500-square-foot building along with sanitary and surveillance systems.

The town recently received two grants for the estimated $400,000 project—a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant and a $150,000 state grant. Ms. Doulos explained that since the grants are reimbursable, the town will need to borrow the money from its 2017 capital budget until the state money is returned.

The proposed building will be for the Children’s Museum of the East End, giving them a constant presence at the park, according to Ms. Doulos. The project will also include installing a soccer field in the park, with new fencing.

Additionally, a new walkway from the parking lot to Hot Dog Beach in East Quogue will be built using the town’s Community Preservation Fund revenues. The project will include reconstructing a walkway to the beach that was previously destroyed in a fire, along with adding a wheelchair-accessible ramp and an elevated deck area, according to Ms. Doulos.

The Town Board approved funds for the $100,000 project on Tuesday out of the CPF Department, since those funds can be used to improve access to CPF-purchased properties. That allowed $100,000 previously budgeted for the project from the capital fund to be allocated to the Ponquogue Beach Pavilion renovation, a snack bar and bathroom stop at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays. That renovation project, according to Ms. Doulos, will need a total of around $1.5 million to be completed.

She noted that the town now has $500,000 in capital funding budgeted for the project so far. Mr. Marchese said construction could potentially start this fall, as the town went out to bid for a contractor on July 11.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he would like to finish the project by next summer, although Mr. Marchese said a fall 2018 deadline might be more realistic.

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Great job sharing the wealth! It's a very selection of projects from across the town.
By SqueakyWheel (28), Flanders, New York on Jul 11, 17 5:46 PM
The Town Supervisor made a proclamation to be 50% renewable energy -- yet none of these projects include a solar roof or solar hot water system. .also it might be nice to finish the park in HB -- bathrooms, please.
By dfree (757), hampton bays on Jul 11, 17 7:30 PM
Something smells. Southampton Town has never had "surplus cash". Ever.

What is the real story here?
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jul 12, 17 6:50 AM
The Hampton Classic, Horse Show, Bridgehampton