Residents in Sag Harbor are likely poised to face rising taxes from the county, towns and the school in the coming fiscal year while trying to digest a national economy and housing market on the brink of catastrophe – economies we are intrinsically linked to as we watch mortgage tax revenues we once depended on shrink faster than you can say McMansion.
Which is why we would like to throw our thoughts into the array of opinions we hope Sag Harbor residents give its elected body about two capital projects the board is considering funding in the coming year.
We do believe the fence at the Old Burial Ground is in dire need of restoration, and has been for some time. However, given the kind of fiscal restraint our village government will need to show in the coming year, we are concerned a replacement fence, rather than an in-kind restoration will be considered as the economically sound solution. We believe the fence should be restored, in kind, which is admittedly, a costly endeavor. However, as we have learned living in a historic village, a restoration is ultimately the wiser, more valuable way to handle such a project. It is one of the reasons we have a historic preservation and architectural review board that is adamant that homeowners restore parts of their historic homes, or at least replace them with the same materials. The village should treat the fence around the Old Burial Ground with the same respect we ask private homeowners to treat their historic homes.
That being said, we do not encourage the village to spend the money on this project immediately. We believe it is an effort that can be put off a year or so, and see a far more pressing issue at hand.
We would ask that the village prioritize creating a safer environment for the legions of children and students who walk along Jermain Avenue to and from Mashashimuet Park and the schools. In light of the fact that a library may one day grace the grounds of the park, creating even more foot traffic on what can undeniably be a dangerous stretch of road, we hope the village does move forward with a continuous sidewalk from the schools to the park, as well as address problem intersections like Madison Street and Jermain Avenue.
In tough times like these, finding a safer route to school and to our playgrounds is the most obvious priority.Â