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Feb 29, 2012 10:30 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Working On New Accord With Westhampton Beach

Feb 29, 2012 12:46 PM

Westhampton Beach Village and Southampton Town officials have taken the idiom “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” to heart by exchanging favors over the years that have saved both municipalities money.

As part of the accord, which expired in 2009 and is now being renegotiated by both parties, the Westhampton Beach Department of Public Works has been allowed to dump leaf and brush at the town’s transfer station on Old Country Road in Westhampton free of charge during the village’s annual fall and spring cleanups. In return, the village’s police department has agreed to patrol a section of unincorporated Dune Road in Westhampton, a nearly one-mile stretch that runs between the villages of Westhampton Beach and West Hampton Dunes, while the DPW has continued to plow and salt the strip following snowstorms.

Currently, both municipalities are still following the old agreement while a new one is being hashed out. It was not immediately clear how long the agreement had been in place.

At the Village Board work session earlier this month, Westhampton Beach Village Clerk Rebecca Molinaro reported to board members that the town is in the process of drafting a new agreement. “Once it’s drafted, the board would just have to vote on it,” she said.

The new agreement, however, will require that the village also patrol and clear the roads on two additional streets—Jeffrey and Adam lanes. Portions of the roads fall in both municipalities.

“We also noticed that the village is being asked to respond to a number of calls on Adam and Jeffrey lanes,” Ms. Molinaro said. “So, the village, on some level, would be a first responder in exchange for still being able to use the waste disposal facility.”

Village officials seem to be open to the modifications.

“You’re talking about an additional six or seven houses,” added Westhampton Beach Police Chief Ray Dean, who attended the recent work session. “We’ll be the first one there and [Southampton Town Police will] pick up and do the follow-up investigation.”

Village Board member Hank Tucker called the agreement a good one for both the village and town. “Shared services between different branches of government involving taxpayers’ money is a good thing,” he added.

Westhampton residents who live on Dune Road, between the two incorporated villages, pay taxes to Southampton Town. John Kearns, superintendent of the Westhampton Beach DPW, said plowing and salting the short stretch of road is not a big deal because workers must clear nearby village roads.

It is not yet known when the new agreement will be finalized, but the village would like the arrangement to be renewed before it conducts its spring clean-up in April.

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Win-win -- everyone plays nice. Taxpayers benefit. Watch and learn, people.
By Frank Wheeler (1823), Northampton on Feb 29, 12 3:52 PM
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