Money that will be earmarked to provide work force housing for Sag Harbor residents can now be deposited with the Sag Harbor Community Housing Trust. The village board took the necessary steps on Tuesday to allow the trust to receive money now that substantial progress is being made on the transformation of the former Bulova building into upscale condominiums.
As part of the review process, Watchcase Associates, the developers of the Bulova property, agreed to donate up to $2.5 million to a village fund for affordable housing instead of setting aside a percentage of the project’s 64 units as affordable housing.
The developers have agreed to make payments to the village each time they close on the sale of a unit rather than make the payment in one lump sum.
“We started this housing trust fund a few years ago,” said Mayor Brian Gilbride on Wednesday. “Instead of the money sitting in an account and us fumbling around, there will be a committee that will oversee it.” That committee is chaired by Greg Ferraris, a former mayor and an accountant.
The money can be used to buy or renovate property and even to help qualified buyers make down payments, although Mr. Gilbride said the village has yet to determine if the money could be used outside the village limits.
The board also received a report on traffic calming measures from Susan Mead of Serve Sag Harbor, an offshoot of the preservationist group Save Sag Harbor.
Ms. Mead told the board that her organization had raised $13,000 to pay for engineers to produce plans for improving up to 23 intersections in the village. She said the group expected to have detailed plans available for four intersections — Main and Union Streets, Main and Glover Streets, Main Street and Jermain Avenue at Mashashimuet Park, and Jermain Avenue and Oakland Street — as early as February.
“We’re told that if the engineering is done and there is local interest, the chances of getting a grant goes way up,” Ms. Mead told the board.
Mr. Gilbride said the board would review the plans and proceed from there. “Let’s see what they come up with,” he said. “We may do some of them and we may not do others.”
Pierce Hance, a former mayor and board member, also addressed the board, suggesting that it prepare a priority list for capital projects. Before the village signs off on replacing the aging bulkhead of Long Wharf, it should also review the condition of bulkheads at Marine Park, he said, so it might save money by having all the work done at the same time.
He also asked about plans for the renovation of the Municipal Building. “Is it worth it to renovate the fourth floor, so you can go up to see the antique pistol range?” he asked.
Nada Barry, the owner of the Wharf Shop, citing the early January blizzard, asked if residents and merchants who do not clean their sidewalks are going to be ticketed. The board agreed that it needs to come up with a plan for addressing the issue, but took no action.
At the top of Tuesday’s meeting, the board honored outgoing Southampton Trustee Jon Semlear, who did not seek re-election this year, with a proclamation thanking him for his work in helping improve the water quality in Sag Harbor Cove and the surrounding area.