Government Briefs 06.16.11

East Hampton Town
Grant for Photovoltaic System
    A grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will reimburse East Hampton Town for the installation of a solar photovoltaic system at the Lamb building in Amagansett, which houses the Department of Housing and Community Development.
    The town board is expected to award the bid for installing the system to GreenLogic, a Southampton renewable-energy company. The cost will be $117,867. Because that bid is lower than expected, Councilwoman Julia Prince said Tuesday, it will leave about $70,000 that can be used to place solar panels on another town building, perhaps the one housing the Montauk police precinct headquarters.

Artists Want Duck Creek Barn
    Town board members seemed agreeable to a request from the East End Artists Alliance to use the barn at the town-owned Duck Creek Farm as a studio and exhibit space and base an office there. Councilwoman Theresa Quigley relayed the request to the board at a work session on Tuesday.
    The property, a historic farm near Three Mile Harbor, was owned at one point by John Little, a well-known artist who made the barn his studio. The town bought the site several years ago with money from the community preservation fund. At the time, allowing a variety of community groups to use the property was discussed, as the only other meeting space in Springs available to community groups, Ashawagh Hall, which is privately owned by the Springs Improvement Society, is often fully booked.
    Board members said Tuesday that an agreement outlining just what will be allowed to take place should be drawn up before granting use of the barn to the Artists Alliance. Art exhibits could be allowed, but sales would not, according to the rules governing preservation fund properties.

Not So Sloppy, After All
    The owners of the Sloppy Tuna, a downtown Montauk bar that took over the former Nick’s, have offered to pay for landscaping around the town’s new public bathrooms, which are across the street. The restrooms were installed this year to serve the nearby ocean beach, in compliance with Suffolk County Health Department regulations that require beaches with lifeguards to have public bathrooms.
    Councilwoman Julia Prince, who has been overseeing the project, said the donors will have landscape professionals prepare a planting plan for the town board’s approval. They will pay for the installation as well. Several weeks ago, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson relayed a request from the Sloppy Tuna proprietors that the bathrooms remain open at night for their patrons’ use, in return for a payment to the town, but that suggestion was rejected out of hand. The bathrooms are expected to be finished and open soon.     J.P.

New York State
Food Bill Advances
    The New York State Senate passed the Buy From the Backyard Act on Monday to promote the purchase of food grown or produced in the state. The bill requires state agencies with food contracts to buy at least 20 percent of their food from New York sources. State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, who voted for the bill, said, “If every household in New York spent just $15 per week on local food, we could pump $5.5 billion into New York State’s economy.” He added that Suffolk is the largest agricultural county in the state. The bill has been sent to the Assembly.