Tempers flared at the most recent Westhampton Beach Village Board meeting over the timing of an upcoming Halloween parade, organized each year by the Westhampton Beach Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, and a coinciding trick-or-treat event on Main Street, which is sponsored by the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce.
One Main Street merchant, Erin Finley, told board members last Thursday, October 7, that the parade and trick-or-treat event—both of which are scheduled for Friday, October 29—will cause store owners to lose revenue because the street will be closed between 3 and 5:30 p.m. that day. Ms. Finley, who owns Sydney’s “Taylor” Made Cuisine, said about 30 of her fellow merchants would prefer if the events were held on Thursday, October 28, instead.
“It is necessary because the merchants do not want to lose hundreds of dollars on a Friday afternoon,” said Ms. Finley, adding that she has spoken with PTA members and they are willing to change the date.
But Ed Korosz, an associate broker at Corcoran Group Real Estate and the vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, said his organization’s application for the trick-or-treat event was approved by the village back in January. He added that October 29 is a better date for students.
In the end, the Village Board unanimously approved the application previously filed by PTA for a parade on October 29. Mayor Conrad Teller said if they agree to change the date, the PTA and chamber can always amend their applications.
As it now stands, the parade will begin at Westhampton Beach Elementary School on Mill Road at 3 p.m. on October 29 and end on Main Street, which will remain closed to vehicles until 5:30 p.m. Children will then be allowed to trick-or-treat at Main Street businesses.
Parking Fines Amended
Westhampton Beach Village Justice Court can now add late fees to unpaid parking fines.
Village parking tickets list a series of late fees that are supposed to take effect if transgressors fail to pay their fines on time, but the village previously failed to give itself the authority to collect the added fees. Board members corrected that oversight with a unanimous vote last Thursday. The parking tickets listing the late fees have been in use by Westhampton Beach Village Police for about one year, according to officials.
A $75 fine is supposed to increase to $150 if it is not paid within 30 days. That fee jumps to $225 after 60 days and $245 after 90 days. A $125 fine is supposed to jump to $250 after 30 days, $375 after 60 days and $395 after 90 days. And the village’s lone $330 fine—reserved for those who illegally park in handicap spots—is supposed to skyrocket to $630 after 30 days, $930 after 60 days and $950 after 90 days.
No one spoke during a public hearing held before the vote.
Fee Rules Loosened
The Westhampton Beach Planning Board now has the power to give builders some leeway when it comes to paying a certain village fee.
The Village Board last week unanimously agreed to allow the Planning Board to set up a schedule for the payment of park fees. Builders were previously required to pay their park fees in one lump sum.
Builders of residential developments of a certain size are required to pay the park fee, which is calculated through a formula based on the size and value of the development. The proceeds go toward building and improving village recreational facilities.
The approved resolution states that the current economic downturn has made it difficult for some builders to pay the fee in one lump sum.
No one spoke during a public hearing that the board opened before passing the resolution.