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Nov 3, 2017 4:56 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Designates Itself Lead Agency On Sewer Proposal: Special Meeting Set For November 15

Nov 7, 2017 12:11 PM

Westhampton Beach Village Board members are expected to decide next week whether to move forward with a sewer district, the first phase of which is expected to run $16.75 million.

A special meeting on Wednesday, November 15, will begin at 5 p.m. at Village Hall on Mill Road. At that time, board members are expected to accept or reject the proposed sewer plan and accompanying map.

Phase one of the four-phase proposal calls for sewering all of Main Street, portions of Sunset Avenue, Mitchell Road and Library Avenue, and connecting a pair of condominium complexes overlooking Moniebogue Canal to the south. The plan was created by H2M Architects + Engineers in Melville, the firm overseeing the project.

Additionally, board members voted at their most recent meeting on Thursday evening, November 2, to designate themselves as the lead agency on the project, meaning that they would be in charge of coordinating the review and overseeing the project through the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, process—if they decide to advance the proposal.

Now that they are the lead agency, board members must decide before November 22 if they want to go forward with a sewer district. The Department of State’s Codes of Rules and Regulations note that municipalities have 20 days to make such a decision after designating a lead agency.

Mayor Maria Moore said she encourages village residents to review the map and plan in person at Village Hall or by visiting the municipality’s website, westhamptonbeach.org. She also encouraged all interested parties to provide their input prior to the meeting on November 15.

Village Board member Brian Tymann noted that while a construction time line has not yet been established, the work, if approved, would be completed in sections to limit disruptions in the downtown business district. “We want to make sure the schedule works for merchants,” he said.

Ms. Moore, meanwhile, said that 70 percent of the projected costs for phase one of the four-phase project would be paid for by landlords and business owners directly benefiting from the sewers. She explained that the board is now seeking up to $5 million in grants to offset the initial costs of the project, estimating that they will likely have to borrow $11.75 million to be paid off over the next 30 years to fund the work.

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