A New Police Department for Sagaponack?

Plans to improve the safety of parking in front of the Sagaponack Post Office and General Store have been discussed at two recent village board meetings. Carrie Ann Salvi

    An informational meeting on the future of police service in Sagaponack and a hearing on limiting yard sales to one per year were scheduled on Monday at a meeting of the village board. The board has been discussing the cost of its contract with the Southampton Town Police Department for some time. “I think it’s time for us to make a decision,” Mayor Donald Louchheim said on Monday.

    The mayor reported that the board has had presentations on how much it would cost if policing were provided by a different municipality or by the village itself. “The worst case would be saving $500,000 per year,” he said. “The best case would be $1 million per year.”

    The police tax is the biggest item in the village budget. “We pay $2.3 million per year to Southampton Town for a police force,” he said, explaining that he hopes to have details finalized by the board’s September meeting, and to be ready for a change at the end of the year.

The informational meeting was scheduled for Aug. 10 at 9 a.m. Mr. Louchheim  stressed that police options would be explained at the meeting and that a formal public hearing would be held on any change the board decides to make.
The hearing on limiting the frequency of yard sales will be held on Aug. 12 at 3 p.m.

    Other discussions at the meeting focused on the village roads. The board has decided to create three-foot-wide bike lanes on both sides of some of the roads, while keeping the visuals low-key. “I don’t want the roads in Sagaponack to look like 114 in North Haven,” Mr. Louchheim said.

    The work is to be included in road projects to begin shortly after Labor Day. Jeff and Lisa Tennebaum, who first suggested lanes, have volunteered to do research and assist with the project.

    “I agree with Don,” Lee Foster, the deputy mayor, said. She said it made sense to do the work while repaving projects were under way and that they should be safe “but not too elegant.” Grant money will be sought for the project.

    A lengthy discussion ensued on Monday as it had at the previous week’s meeting about parking at the Sagg Post Office and Sagg Main Store. Mayor  Louchheim asked Drew Bennett, the village engineer, to look at the entire designated parking areas on both sides of the street.

    Also at Monday’s meeting, the speed limit between Montauk Highway and the bridge on Sagaponack Road was reduced from 40 miles per hour to 25 by a unanimous vote.

    The board was also unanimously in favor of placing a historic marker at 79 Parsonage Lane, where Beverly Stewart lived. He was the only African-American to own land and farm in Sagaponack in days gone by.