clubhouse, east hampton, indoor, tennis, cornhole, bar, happy hour, bowling, mini golf

Story - News

Mar 6, 2012 4:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Continues To Prune Budget

Mar 7, 2012 11:10 AM

It turns out that March is the best time for pruning, both when it comes to lilacs and Westhampton Beach Village’s tentative budget.

While he did not release any hard numbers at last Thursday night’s trustees’ meeting, Mayor Conrad Teller said the tentative spending plan is “close” to meeting the requirements of the state’s new tax levy cap, but the board still has “some pruning to do” in order to meet that goal.

While the current draft of the 2012-13 spending plan is currently not under the 2 percent tax levy limit set by the state, “it will be when we get done,” Mr. Teller said at last week’s meeting.

A Freedom of Information Law request filed with the village this week, requesting a copy of the draft spending plan, was not immediately honored.

For the current fiscal year, the board is working with a $9.3 million budget with a corresponding tax levy of $7.75 million, an increase of almost 5.7 percent over the previous year.

Also last week, village trustees scheduled a pair of budget-related hearings for its next meeting on Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m.

The first seeks the public’s input on whether or not the village should adopt a local law that will allow board members to override the tax cap if necessary. Village Clerk Rebecca Molinaro urged the board last month to approve the law as a safeguard. The second hearing will allow members of the public to discuss the village’s 2012-13 spending plan—once it is released by the village.

Garbage Crackdown

Also at last week’s meeting, the Village Board agreed to amend the definition of household garbage in the village code, a move that will allow officials to start fining those caught dumping their household trash in public trash receptacles.

The amendment, approved following a public hearing during which only one member of the public addressed the board, carries a $250 fine and up to 15 days in prison for people who are caught illegally dumping their household trash in village-owned receptacles. The law was adopted after Westhampton Beach Department of Public Works employees began noticing an increase in the amount of refuse being dumped in the garbage cans. Residents have been dumping their garbage in the cans to avoid paying fees to do so at the Southampton Town-owned Westhampton Transfer Station on Old Country Road.

Jim Flood, the owner of Westhampton T-Shirts on Main Street in Westhampton Beach, asked the board to explain how offenders would be caught. Mayor Conrad Teller explained that a Westhampton Beach Village Police officer must observe the offense or witnesses must testify that they observed the dumping taking place. The mayor added that witnesses must try to get the names of the offenders, explaining that getting car models or license plate numbers is not enough.

“You have to identify the actual person who throws the garbage in [the trash],” Mr. Teller said.

The mayor’s response prompted Mr. Flood to jokingly ask: “Should we handcuff them ourselves?”

Laughing, Mr. Teller replied: “We are not setting up this ordinance to arrest everybody in the village.”

“Why not?” Mr. Flood wondered aloud.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in