Government Briefs 03.13.14

East Hampton Town

Board Suspends Testing

       The East Hampton Town Board agreed Tuesday to suspend $4,000-a-month chemical testing at the scavenger waste plant, which is shut down and serving only as a transfer station for septic waste that is trucked elsewhere for treatment. Testing of the liquids coming into the plant is no longer necessary, Pio Lombardo, a consultant who presented a report on the plant, told the board last month, because no liquids are being released into the ground. Along with the suspension of several other wasteful practices, Mr. Lombardo recommended abandoning all operations at the plant.


Committee Assignments

       Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez will serve as liaison to a new senior services committee.By town board resolution onMarch 6, the group will assess “the diverse needs and desires of a senior population that spans three generations,” look at what services are offered by the town and other institutions, and “develop a plan to provide a coordination of services.” Members include private individuals and town staffers as well as representatives of the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, East Hampton Library, and East Hampton Healthcare Foundation. In addition, an advisory board on affordable housing has been re-established. In a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, seven members were appointed to the board, which willmake recommendations for establishing affordable housing using the town’s community housing opportunity fund. The group will include Michael DeSario,Katy Casey, Jeanne Frankl, Michelle Thompson, John Lycke, and Barbara Jordan, with Tom Ruhle, the town’s director of housing and community development, and Marguerite Wolffsohn, the planning director, as ex officio members. Job Potter, a former town councilman who did not win election when he ran for a seat on the board last year, will be the chair.


Seeking Diverse Bids

       Bids will be accepted until 3 p.m. on March 27 by the town’s Purchasing Department from those interested in running the food concession at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett. Bids are also being sought for the purchase of a vehicle for the town police that will be designated for “hostage negotiation.” They will be accepted until 3 p.m. next Thursday.Bid specifications are available from the department office.


A.D.A. Inspections

       Businesses in East Hampton Town will be checked to see if they are instituting “readily achievable” changes allowing easier access by the handicapped, in keeping with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez reported Tuesday.

       The town fire marshal will check businesses for compliance at the same time annual fire safety inspections are made. Previously, the councilwoman said, inspections were done only when there were complaints.

       Dave Browne, the town’s chief fire marshal, will send a letter to businesses with information about the basic, “readily achievable” changes they are expected to make. It will be accompanied by a letter from Glenn Hall, a member of the town’s Disabilities Advisory Board, describing what it is like for the handicapped to encounter obstacles in accessing public places.

       The town will also begin making some changes, Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said, by installing handicapped-accessible doors at Town Hall, the Montauk Playhouse, and the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter.


Tax Receiver Leave of Absence

       A leave of absence granted to Monica Rottach, the town tax receiver, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, was recently extended by two weeks, through Friday.

       Ms. Rottach went on leave early this year after extensive problems came to light regarding annual property tax bills. Nearly one-fourth of town property owners did not receive their bills, which had not been printed, and the mistake was not caught until taxpayers began to make inquiries. Neide Valeira, a town accountant, has been made interim tax receiver.


Repairs to Start at Fort Pond

       Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc announced this week that repairs to Fort Pond House in Montauk have been mapped out and that numerous residents and groups have offered to help with labor, donations, and supplies.

       The four-acre waterfront site provides the only public access to the pond,Mr. Van Scoyoc noted at a meeting on Tuesday, adding that the house will provide “a great place” for meetings. The board voted unanimously on March 6 to issue a $75,000 bond to repair the house and clean up the property. Replacement of the roof is expected to start immediately, Mr. Van Scoyoc said.

       The previous town board majority’s decision to sell the site had prompted a public outcry and several lawsuits, and the house had been left in disrepair for several years while the property was for sale.             J.P.


Suffolk County

Tick Advisory Board

       The Suffolk County Legislature last week unanimously passed a resolution creating a tick-control advisory committee to work with the county’s division of vector control on a plan to reduce tick-borne illnesses in the county. The resolution, sponsored by Legislator Jay Schneiderman of Montauk, sets up a 12-member committee that will be led by a member knowledgeable about tick control. Also on the committee will be the director of the division of vector control, the county executive, the Legislature’s presiding officer and deputy presiding officer, DuWayne Gregory and Mr. Schneiderman; the chairmen of the Legislature’s public works and health committees, and the Suffolk County Parks Commissioner. Representatives of an environmental group, of the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association, and of the Cornell Cooperative Extension will also be on the committee. Creation of the committee follows 2013 legislation sponsored by Mr. Schneiderman that calls on vector control to submit an annual plan to reduce instances of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.