In 2016, a referendum was passed to extend the Community Preservation Fund to 2050. Since the inception of the CPF in 1999, hundreds of acres of farmland, woods and open space have been bought and preserved. In addition to extending the life of the fund, the 2016 referendum also included the ability for a municipality to utilize a portion of the fund’s revenue for water quality projects. Over the last several years, money has been spent on residential septic upgrade rebates and other environmental and water quality projects for the public benefit.
Unfortunately, because Southampton Village does not have many large tracts of land left to preserve, most of the money the village pays into the fund was allocated elsewhere, with the exception of a few purchases. The village has always contributed to the fund much more than it has benefited from it. I am looking for ways to change that.
Recently East Hampton Town approved the spending of CPF money as grants for wastewater upgrades for commercial properties in Montauk and other areas of East Hampton. Can Southampton Village do the same? We could begin by exploring this option in the discussions of wastewater upgrades in the village center, and the plans to clean up Lake Agawam.
Shouldn’t this be part of a solution? For openers, it would reduce the tax burden on residents.
If I am elected in September to the Village Board, I am certainly going to explore this.
Joseph R. McLoughlin
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