Mayor Jesse Warren’s obstinate pursuit to build a sewage plant at 1 Bowers Lane is flawed and based on deceptive and misleading information.
The Southampton Town Board has already advised Mayor Warren and the village trustees that it will not commit Community Preservation Fund revenue or approve a change of zoning to build a plant at the Bowers Lane residential site.
At the June 1 debate, Mayor Warren stated that 25,000 village residents would benefit from the sewer project. This is false. The sewer service area consists of 245 commercial tax lots zoned for village business use, owned by absentee landlords who for the past 25 years have refused to pay for a sewage plant that would benefit them exclusively. See Village of Southampton Application for CPF, Attachment 1, Page 7. It does not benefit any residential properties in Southampton Village or Southampton Town.
In contrast, more than 200 families who live in close proximity to Bowers Lane opposed the construction of a sewage plant at that location based on health concerns, sewage seepage, foul odors, negative impact on property values, improper use of the CPF and violations of residential zoning laws.
To add insult to injury, the real beneficiaries of Mayor Warren’s sewer project support his efforts to build the plant in our residential neighborhood and have the town pay for it with the CPF. The purpose of the CPF is to preserve water resources, wetlands, open space, and to improve the quality of our community — not to use public funds to degrade the quality of our life and diminish our property values for the sole benefit of absentee village commercial property owners. This sewage plant does not benefit the residents of the village, and it is a deceit for Mr. Warren to say so.
Mayor Warren is also aware that the nitrogen pollutants in Lake Agawam are primarily caused by wastewater from antiquated septic systems, fertilizers and insecticides entering the Lake Agawam watershed from the neighboring residential village properties but has done nothing to force these property owners to update their septic systems or restrict the use of such contaminants.
The truth may be politically inconvenient but should never be distorted or concealed for political gain. Our elected officials are required to make decisions in the best interest of our community, not in the interest of nonresident special interest groups. We, the residents of Southampton, will hold our elected officials accountable to solve the village sewer problem within the boundaries of the village and at the expense of the business district owners, without using public funds to ruin our residential neighborhoods and contaminate our pristine agricultural preserves.
One fine body…