Government Briefs 11.24.11

East Hampton Town

Town to Sell Condos
    With a vote last Thursday night, the East Hampton Town Board formalized its intent to sell seven town-owned office condominium units at Pantigo Place, close to Town Hall, in order to raise money to build new offices at the Town Hall campus to accommodate all town departments on site. A potential buyer has indicated interest in the units, which have been appraised at $3 million, based on an immediate closing, and town officials moved to issue a notice to bidders who might wish to counter that minimum price. The terms include a closing within 60 days of the town’s acceptance of the bid, and the right for the town to maintain occupancy of the units for a year from the closing date, at no cost to the town.

Poxy Discount to Continue
    A resolution passed by the town board at last week’s meeting approved an intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Southampton, with which East Hampton jointly owns the Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack. The town board has authorized the sale of its 50-percent interest in the center to Southampton for $2.2 million. The towns bought the course for a total of $3.25 million in 2004. Members of the public speaking at a hearing on the proposal had questioned whether the sale would result in higher charges for East Hampton residents golfing at Poxabogue. The new agreement between the towns would guarantee East Hamptoners the same discounted rate charged to Southampton Town residents for an initial term of five years, with options to extend the agreement upon the towns’ mutual consent.

Deer Permits
    Hunters may obtain applications for the Town of East Hampton’s lottery for deer hunting permits on town land from the town clerk’s office beginning on Dec. 5. They must be returned before 4 p.m. on Dec. 21 to be included in the lottery drawing. The 2012 shotgun deer hunting season opens at sunrise on Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 31, on weekdays only. Hunting is not allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Boys Harbor Access
    Also last Thursday night, the town board awarded Keith Grimes of Montauk a bid for the creation of an access road into the recently purchased former Boys Harbor camp property. Mr. Grimes was the lowest responsible bidder for the job, according to the town board resolution. The 26-acre property is jointly owned with Suffolk County, and will be open for public use. East Hampton used its community preservation fund to pay its half of the $7.3 million purchase price.

C.P.F. Management Plan
    The town board will hold a hearing at Town Hall next Thursday night at 7 on a management and stewardship plan for properties purchased by East Hampton’s community preservation fund. Under the law creating the fund, which receives the proceeds of a 2-percent transfer tax on most real estate transfers, up to 10 percent of the money collected may be used for costs related to management and stewardship of the properties.
    Among the expenditures in the draft plan are a proposal to use just over $250,000 to restore the historic farmhouse at the Lester-Labrozzi property at North Main and Cedar Streets in East Hampton in order to create a farm museum; one to spend $200,000 to demolish derelict buildings at the former Boys Harbor camp; spending $4,000 to revegetate areas or place informational kiosks at open space parcels, and allocating $35,800 to provide access to shoreline properties, including working with New York State and Suffolk County at the Amsterdam Beach property in Montauk to create a parking area, trails, and a boardwalk and/or bridges over small streams or wetlands areas of the property. The full text of the management and stewardship plan is on the land acquisition section of the town Web site, at ehampton.ny.gov, and is available at the town clerk’s office.

Snow Removal Bids
    The East Hampton Town Purchasing Department will accept bids through Friday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. on snow and ice removal at various town parking lots and sidewalks. Specifications are available at the Purchasing Department office.

West Drive Road District
    A resolution passed by the town board at its meeting last week establishes a road improvement district along the northerly portion of West Drive and a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue, roads in an industrial area off Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton.
    Ten deed holders of property along those roads will pay jointly for improvements to be made to approximately 1,770 feet of the roadway to bring it up to town highway specifications, an estimated maximum cost of $945,000. It will then become a public road. Once that occurs, the Snyder family of East Hampton can proceed with a long-delayed commercial subdivision on land between Springs-Fireplace and Three Mile Harbor Roads, the access to which will be over the new public road.
    The planning board had required access to the subdivision over the northerly section of West Drive, contingent upon creation of a public road, but the town had been unable for some years to obtain title to areas needed for road shoulders. Earlier this year, when the Snyders proposed taking access to the new subdivision over a southerly portion of West Drive, through a residential area, residents of the area protested, just as they had after an initial proposal to have commercial traffic use that road.
    The establishment of the road improvement district is subject to a permissive referendum; it can be challenged if a certain percentage of voters petition to do so.

Community Development Grants
    A budget for next year’s community development block grant, federal money earmarked for particular types of projects in the town, such as those benefiting lower-income residents, was adopted by the town board at its recent meeting. The $116,783 expected will be apportioned as follows: $40,000 for replacement of windows at the Accabonac Apartments, a complex run by the East Hampton Housing Authority; $10,000 for air-conditioning at the Windmill Village senior citizens housing complex in East Hampton; $36,500 for work in kitchens at the Whalebone Apartments in East Hampton; $15,000 for a sun shade and foul ball protection at Lions Field in Montauk; $7,500 to Maureen’s Haven, an organization that provides shelter for the homeless, and $7,783 to Project MOST, an after-school program. The block grant is administered by the town’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

New Phones at Town Hall
    A new phone system at Town Hall will provide updated options, such as the ability to call a central number to reach various town offices and access to town office voice mail from outside lines, and will add video conferencing to the mix. The system is also expected to save money.
    After hearing proposals, the town board last Thursday approved one from MAC Source. Needed hardware will cost $39,647, and annual equipment leases and maintenance will cost $16,711 for the first year and $24,511 for years two through five. The town will also purchase equipment for an emergency off-site backup system at a cost not to exceed $11,600, and pay up to $11,000 for the video conferencing equipment.