Government Briefs 09.22.11

East Hampton Town

A First for Northwest Roads
    The East Hampton Town Board will propose the creation of a special tax district to pay for road repairs in an area of Northwest that includes Wheelock Walk, Barnes Avenue, and Mulford Avenue, enabling the roads, now private subdivision roads, to be brought into the town highway system.
    The proposal will be put to a vote by the affected property owners, and if approved, will create the first road improvement district in the town — a model, Tom Talmage, the town engineer, said at a work session on Tuesday, for others, and an “exciting” precedent.
    Officials have acknowledged for years that an “urban renewal” system adopted by the town decades ago, whereby private roads are improved piecemeal as each property owner pays a “road improvement unit” fee when they develop their lot, was unsuccessful in bringing individual roads up to public highway standards, allowing the town to take over their upkeep. Property owners along such private roads have long complained of the lack of town services, such as snow removal.
    However, the town was precluded from creating road improvement districts until the recent passage of state legislation that authorized them.
    The town board decided Tuesday on a formula designed to fairly distribute the financial burden of the road improvements among the property owners in the Northwest neighborhood, which includes 150 developed lots and 30 undeveloped lots. They will receive a letter informing them of the cost, which can be paid up front or over a period of 15 years.
    
Code Enforcement Education
    Patrick Gunn, the head of East Hampton Town’s Division of Public Safety, is creating a series of information sheets that will provide residents with an overview of various zoning and other laws.
    The first two address what is permitted, and not permitted, to occur in single-family residences. The fliers are posted under the Ordinance Enforcement Department section of the town’s Web site, at town.east-hampton.ny.us, are available in the lobby of the Ordinance Enforcement Department offices at Pantigo Place, and will be distributed by code enforcement officers.
    Mr. Gunn said this week that he would create additional fliers on other topics, as necessary, in order to assist town officials and enforcement officers in educating the public about town laws and addressing violations.

Credits for Contractors
    Contractors who need continuing education credits to maintain their East Hampton Town licenses are being encouraged to take a four-hour course being offered by the town, which will discuss the state energy construction code and its standards for energy efficiency. Those who take the class will receive two years’ worth of the required credits, according to a vote of the town board last Thursday night.
    Information about the class can be obtained from Joel Halsey at the town Planning Department, jhalsey@ehamptonny.gov. 

Town Holding Online Auction
    East Hampton Town will sell surplus items in an online auction, at www.auctionsinternational.com, that will begin tomorrow and last for two weeks.
    The items for sale will include used cars and all-terrain vehicles, miscellaneous parts, and a window.

Farming Museum on the Way
    A resolution officially designating the town-owned Lester-Labrozzi property at the corner of North Main and Cedar Streets, which once was a farm, as the site of a farming museum, will allow members of a museum planning committee to locate and obtain items for display there.
    According to Town Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, who has been working with the group, the committee can now begin to collect farming implements and other artifacts for the museum, which will be created with the help of the East Hampton Historical Society.
    The interior of a house on the property will reflect that of a 1930s or ’40s-era farmhouse, and there will be permanent and rotating exhibits.
    
Bike Routes, Lanes, and Paths

    Members of a committee recently convened by Councilwoman Theresa Quigley to address bicycling in East Hampton are looking, hamlet by hamlet, for opportunities to create bike routes, lanes, and paths.
    The first proposal is for Amagansett, where a bicycle route from the railroad station, down Atlantic Avenue to the beach, and along Bluff Road to Indian Wells Beach, would be delineated using pavement markings — a universal symbol called a “sharrow” depicting a bike, that would be painted on the road to alert drivers that bicyclists are also using the lane. The state Department of Transportation will be contacted for permission to install a crosswalk across Montauk Highway from the train station.
    The proposal will be brought to the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee for discussion at its next meeting, and sent to East Hampton Town Police Chief Eddie Ecker for his comments.

Music Festival Gets its Money Back
    The bulk of a $20,000 deposit given to East Hampton Town towards the town’s costs for police coverage and any other services that would have had to be provided for the MTK: Music to Know concert, a two-day festival that had been slated for Aug. 13 and 14 at East Hampton Airport, but was canceled, will be returned to the festival organizers. However, the refund will not include $2,000 that had already been spent by the Police Department on signs for traffic control, before the show was canceled.

Deer in Their Sights
    Councilman Dominick Stanzione reported at a town board meeting on Tuesday that a deer management committee with which he is working is crafting a “comprehensive, effective, and compassionate” plan to address the burgeoning deer population. The committee includes representatives from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the county Parks Department, and the Peconic Land Trust, as well as from the East Hampton Group for Wildlife, which has advocated starting a deer contraceptive program here.
    Mr. Stanzione said the overall strategy will include culling the herd to deal with the “emergency” situation that exists, while planning for longer-range non-lethal population control.
    To pave the way for deer hunters during the season, which begins on Oct. 1 for bow hunting, Mr. Stanzione proposed allowing the town clerk to issue hunters “bonus tags” for taking deer, saving them a trip to a D.E.C. station in Ridge, and waiving the fee to deposit deer remains at the town recycling center.  
 


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