Government Briefs 10.25.12

East Hampton Town

Committee Appointments

    The East Hampton Town Board made several appointments at its meeting last Thursday night.
    Two new members were added to the town’s nature preserve committee, which oversees public properties designated as nature preserves, develops management plans for them, and makes recommendations as to new preserves. Laura Stephenson and Phil Berg will be the new members. The committee is chaired by Zachary Cohen.

    Other appointments were to groups connected to the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund and its administration in East Hampton Town.

    Pursuant to the law creating the fund, which assesses a 2-percent tax on most real estate transfers in the five East End towns to buy and preserve open space, historic sites, or farmland, each town has its own community preservation fund advisory committee.

    As Michael Denslow, a member of East Hampton’s committee, is unable to complete his term, the town board appointed Barbara Miller as his replacement. She will fill the remainder of his term, through March 23, 2013.

    Richard Hammer, a Montauk attorney, was appointed to sit on a regional community preservation fund advisory board. Established by State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who sponsored the preservation fund concept and law, it was created to assist the towns in applying the preservation regulations in a consistent and proper manner. Each town is to appoint a member to the regional group.

    The town board also recently appointed Alex Balsam, a farmer and attorney, to a seat on the Suffolk County Farmland Committee. The town is authorized to appoint one member to the county group; the seat was formerly held by Bill Gardiner. Mr. Balsam will serve for four years.

Two Land Buys

    After holding hearings last week on two proposed land purchases using the community preservation fund, which drew no speakers, the town board voted on Thursday to move forward with both acquisitions.

    A 4.9-acre parcel on Town Line Road in Wainscott will be purchased for $600,000 from Richard Pratt, Robert Pratt, Paul Pratt, John Beebe, Robert Beebe, Trevor Beebe, Nancy Havens, and Kathleen Waygood. It is adjacent to a 71-acre nature preserve, and surrounded by other preserved open space.

    At 889 Fireplace Road in Springs, another parcel just shy of five acres will be bought by the town for $575,000. It is owned by Charles Mac Miller, Valerie Meyer, Denis Gates, and Debra Gates, and will be preserved for agricultural use and open space.    

Preserves for Adoption

    A two-year Adopt-a-Preserve pilot program will allow volunteers to assist East Hampton Town’s Natural Resources and Land Acquisition and Management Departments to maintain and protect tracts of preserved open space within the town — a total of 4,570 acres.

    Under the supervision of town staff, volunteers would assist with monitoring the properties and reporting any illegal activities such as dumping or use of trails by all-terrain vehicles and could also help with tasks such as minor trail maintenance, removing invasive plants, or litter cleanup.

    Individuals and groups who would like to lend a hand will be required to submit an application. Initially, the program will be tried out on 5 or 10 nature preserves or properties purchased with the community preservation fund, for which the town has adopted management plans.

    After the trial period, the town board will assess the success of the program and determine whether it should be made permanent