In 2016, a referendum was passed to extend the Community Preservation Fund till the year 2050. In addition to the extension, the referendum also included the ability for a municipality to utilize a portion of the fund for water quality projects.
Over the last several years, money has been spent on residential septic upgrade rebates and other environmental water quality projects for the public benefit.
Since the inception of the CPF in 1999, hundreds of acres of farmland, woods and open space have been preserved. Unfortunately, because Southampton Village does not have many large tracts of land, the money was allocated elsewhere. With the exception of a few purchases, the village has contributed to the fund much more than it benefited from it.
Recently, East Hampton Town approved the spending of CPF money grants for wastewater upgrades for commercial properties in Montauk and other areas of East Hampton. How can Southampton Village do the same? We should at least explore this option in the discussions of wastewater upgrades in the village center and solving the contamination of Lake Agawam.
Shouldn’t this be part of solution? For openers, it would reduce the tax burden on residents.
If elected, I am certainly going to explore this.
Mr. McLoughlin is a candidate for Southampton Village trustee — Ed.
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