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Apr 7, 2010 10:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Gregor still intends to seek an additional $2 million in funding to repair Southampton Town's roads

Apr 7, 2010 10:56 AM

The brutal winter and pounding rain of last week’s spring storm have further damaged Southampton Town’s roads, and Highway Superintendant Alex Gregor said he will again request more money to fix them.

“The roads are crumbling. They are breaking apart,” Mr. Gregor said this week. “We need to repair them.”

Mr. Gregor said that, sometime before Memorial Day, he will make his second request for an additional $2 million in funding from the Southampton Town Board to finance extensive road repairs throughout the municipality. His first request, in February, was denied after the board split 2-2 on the issue, with Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Councilwoman Nancy Graboski voting in favor, and Councilmen Chris Nuzzi and Jim Malone opposing. Mr. Nuzzi and Mr. Malone said they needed additional time to determine if more money was warranted for the repairs, and said Mr. Gregor could return to ask for an additional bond issue if it were needed.

But while last month’s election of Bridget Fleming to the Town Board appears to have given Mr. Gregor a favorable majority—some Southampton Town Democrats were overheard chanting “Pave our roads!” during her election night victory—it does not guarantee that the new highway superintendent will get the extra money that he is seeking.

That’s because the vote to secure the $2 million bond will require a super-majority, or four of five votes on the Town Board. In other words, Mr. Nuzzi and Mr. Malone still have enough power as a voting bloc to kill the request.

Stating that he is keeping an open mind, Mr. Nuzzi said that he will require specific details from Mr. Gregor—namely, what roads the additional money will be spent on—before agreeing to release any additional funding. “Let’s go into it with our eyes open and know exactly what those dollars will be spent for, and what the impact to our taxpayers will be,” he said.

Mr. Malone echoed those comments this week, stating that he is open to revisiting the issue in May. “Then, with a very open mind, we’ll take a look at our needs,” he said.

Ms. Throne-Holst and Ms. Graboski said that their position has not changed since February, while Ms. Fleming voiced her support of Mr. Gregor’s request for an additional $2 million in funding. “Everyone in the town agrees that roads need attention,” she said.

In February, Mr. Gregor asked the town to secure a $4 million bond so he could complete all of the capital projects on his wish list, and pave 45 miles of roads. At the time, he stated that he needed $5.2 million to get everything done.

The town agreed to provide him with a $3.8 million for road reconstruction and paving, which included a $2 million bond that was already allocated in the town’s 2010 operating budget.

Despite now having Ms. Fleming’s support, Ms. Throne-Holst recently said that she wanted to wait before voting on the second bond request again to ensure that all board members were comfortable with it. At the time, Mr. Malone and Mr. Nuzzi had asked Mr. Gregor to come back around May with a detailed list of which roads he wanted to be paved.

Mr. Gregor said that his $3.8 million budget should be enough to repave 34 miles of road and complete four major capital projects including: the Red Creek Road realignment in Hampton Bays which is expected to cost $310,000; another road realignment project on Noyac Road, near Cromer’s Market in Noyac, that is expected to run about $430,000; drainage work on Clay Pit Road in Remsenburg for $98,000; and repairs to a culvert on Channel Pond Court in Southampton for $83,000.

Mr. Gregor declined to share his list of roads that need to be repaved, stating that his department is still evaluating the condition of the roads. He did note that it costs between $120,000 and $130,000 to repave a single mile of road.

The highway superintendent pointed to the stretch of Dune Road, between Shinnecock Inlet and Quogue Village, as an example of a road that is in serious disrepair following a rough winter and flooding. He noted that heavy trucks carrying tons of sand to replenish local beaches have further damaged the road. Mr. Gregor explained that, in February, Dune Road was not on his list of roads requiring extensive repairs. “I wouldn’t recommend a lot of people use that road,” Mr. Gregor said. “It’s in terrible shape.”

He added that he doesn’t want to release his list until May because he does not want to confuse taxpayers. “I just don’t want to mislead the public,” he said.

Mr. Gregor did say that parts of Scuttle Hole Road in Bridgehampton were on his list, as well as many roads in Flanders, including Temple and Royal avenues.

Paving season starts in mid-April, and Town Board members have said that May seems to be an appropriate time to revisit whether or not the Highway Department should get extra money for road repaving.

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Chris Nuzzi says he is keeping an open mind about road repair. That's good. I'll also keep an open mind, and try not to conclude right away that Mr. Nuzzi and his faithful sidekick Jim Malone are just playing the old Republican game of blocking everything proposed by the new Democratic-endorsed Supervisor and Highway Superintendent. It sure seems like they have no good (non-political) reason to deny funds to Alex Gregor, when you look at the roads after this brutal winter, and when you see that ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1933), Quiogue on Apr 13, 10 8:06 PM
how about we see how far mr gregor can stretch the 3.8 million already allocated to paving. all those projects listed above already have funding and would not be taken from the 3.8 million. lets see how fiscally responsible he is since he already blew through his snow plowing budget for the year on this years couple of storms. 3.8 million was budgeted because that is a professional estimate of paving 30 miles of roads.

stop blowing smoke and threatening to sue the town. get out there and ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Apr 15, 10 9:13 PM
No, ridiculous, how about instead they just grant the man the money he asked for, when no one questions the accuracy of his amount, when no one questions the urgent need for the work, when three members of the Town Board think he's right, when it's been the worst winter in many years (contrary to your lame-spin talk of a "couple of storms"), when the longer you let roads go the worse they get, and when it's just a poor use of Mr. Gregor's and the Town Board's time -- paid for by us -- to make him ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1933), Quiogue on Apr 17, 10 11:55 AM
THE WORST WINTER IN A COUPLE OF YEARS? WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON?

just give the man money because he asks for it???? what kind of policy is that? thank god someone is asking questions like what are you going to do with it!?! yes they are asking for accuracy of the amount...hence why the board wants a list of roads he plans on paving, but has yet to produce it because he doesn't want to confuse taxpayers. i dont know what kind of logic that is.

the man should have a sound plan on how ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Apr 17, 10 1:13 PM
No, ridiculous, not 'just give the man the money because he asks for it', but for the six reasons that I stated and you ignored, except to deny that this was the worst winter in years.
By Turkey Bridge (1933), Quiogue on Apr 17, 10 2:06 PM
Future Stars, Summer Camps,