Tag Archive | "east hampton town"

East Hampton Wins $250,000 Grant for Coastal Planning

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Cantwell coastal erosion

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell visits the Napeague-Lazy Point neighborhood with a resident of Mulford Lane, Amagansett earlier this year. In August, the town was awarded a $9.9 million federal grant to purchase a number of properties in Amagansett in order to turn them into protective storm buffers.

The Town of East Hampton was awarded a $250,000 grant by the State on Tuesday to develop a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan (CARP).

The money from the state will be matched with $250,000 from private and public sources and will develop CARP through a process of gathering and analyzing information and ample public interaction.

“The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise lend ever-greater urgency to coastal resiliency planning,” said Supervisor Larry Cantwell. “This grant will provide the funding to complete a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan that examines erosion risks, storm vulnerability and natural recovery. I appreciate the cooperation of our Natural Resources and Planning departments, as well as citizens groups such as Concerned Citizens of Montauk for their leadership in helping secure this grant.”

Deputy Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said the plan “will strengthen the resiliency of existing communities in East Hampton, address the needs of future generations and involve broad-based public involvement to develop and implement a community plan.”

East Hampton recently participating in a “Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities” training course at Stony Brook Southampton, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During the course, there were special sessions on climate science, vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning and implementation.

Kim Shaw, the town’s director of natural resources, said that following the training course “we fully expect to immediately integrate climate adaption strategies into our coastal policies, plans and programs.”

East Hampton Town Police Investigate String of Burglaries

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Register 2

Register

 

Security camera images courtesy of the East Hampton Town Police Department.

By Stephen J. Kotz

Using images captured from security cameras, East Hampton Town Police are asking the public for help in finding and arresting the suspect in a string of burglaries of East Hampton businesses early Saturday, November 29.

In each case, the burglar used a brick or stone to smash glass doors to gain entry into six businesses in both East Hampton and Wainscott.

Police said the burglar carted away a cash register and cash box from two of the stores, and got away with at least $1,245 in cash and coins.

Police said the suspect is a white male. In the images, he is wearing what appears to be an olive colored hooded sweatshirt or jacket, jeans and dark work boots.

He can be seen grabbing a cash box from behind the counter of one of the stores that was burglarized. Police have also released a grainy image of a light colored, possibly white, pickup truck they believe the burglar was driving.

The burglaries were reported at Domaine Franey Wines and Spirits on Pantigo Road in East Hampton, where a brick was used to break the glass front door, although nothing appeared to be stolen from the business.  Nearby, the glass front door of Chiquita Latina, also on Pantigo Road, was shattered by a brick and thieves made off with a cash register containing $130. They estimated it would cost $500 to replace the door.  The same fate awaited Calvo’s Deli nearby. There, a $300 glass door was broken and some $700 in cash was removed.

In Wainscott, bricks or paving stones were used to smash through the glass doors at three businesses on Montauk Highway. At Twice Upon a Bagel, the damaged door was the only apparent damage. La Capannina pizzeria suffered a similar fate, with nothing taken. But at Wainscott Wines and Spirits, a black metal cash drawer containing $415 was grabbed.

Police said the suspect was seen fleeing in a westerly direction out of Wainscott.

Although similar burglaries occurred at Nichol’s restaurant in East Hampton Village and LaFondita in Amagansett last summer, Captain Chris Anderson said, “Nothing has been linked, but we’ll certainly look to explore the possibility.”

Police have asked anyone with information to contact them at (631) 537-7575. All calls will be kept confidential.

The suspect fleeing the scene on November 30.

The suspect fleeing the scene on November 30.

 

suspect vehicle

The suspect’s vehicle was spotted in Wainscott traveling west on Montauk Highway

 

Southampton, East Hampton Town Budgets Adopted

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By Stephen J. Kotz

The Southampton Town Board, in a split vote, approved an $88.6 million budget on Thursday, November 20. Meanwhile, in East Hampton Town, a $71.6 million budget was passed unanimously that same evening.

In Southampton, spending was increased by about $160,000 from the original budget put forth by Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst in September, but taxes will remain flat at $1.43 per $1,000. Spending is up year to year by about $3 million.

Republican Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka voted against the Southampton budget, which was supported by Supervisor Throne-Holst, Democratic Councilwoman Bridget Fleming and Independence Party Councilman Brad Bender.

Most of the spending increases were earmarked for eight new hires at the Southampton Town Police, other new positions at town hall and additional spending for highway work.

Southampton, like East Hampton, included $100,000 for a wastewater management plans and $25,000 for the South Fork Behavioral Health Care Initiative.

Taxes remain level, despite the spending increase, in large part because the town has enjoyed a windfall in the form of a half billion dollar increase in its total assessed valuation, thanks to a strong local real estate market.

In East Hampton, the board added some $96,000 to Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s original budget, which, in turn, increased spending by $2.1 million over last year.

Taxes are expected to rise by 3.2 percent for residents of East Hampton Village and 2 percent for those living outside the village. This translates to a $14.32 increase for a house valued at $550,000 outside the village and $23.08 for one within the village boundaries.

The actual tax rates are expected to be $11.63 per $100 for village residents and $28.90 per $100 outside the village.

East Hampton’s budget has undergone some minor changes since Supervisor Cantwell introduced it in September.  Among the major changes was the elimination of $50,000 in proposed revenue for a townwide rental registry, which has since been put on hold, but that has been more than offset by an expected $105,000 increase in county aid for police as well as $80,000 in fees for property leased as potential solar farm sites.

The town also reduced its reliance on reserves by $200,000 over he previous budget, Supervisor Cantwell said in a budget message.

The town is anticipating $965,000 in non-tax revenues, a 4.5-percent increase over last year, with about $757,000 of that expected to come from increased airport fees for fuel sales, landing fees and other sources.

The town is also expecting to realize savings of $459,000 by closing the scavenger waste plant

East Hampton’s budget is more than $300,000 below the state-mandated tax levy cap. Although some have criticized the high revenue estimates in the budget, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reviewed the preliminary budget earlier this month and deemed the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the tentative budget reasonable.

Get a Charge of This

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The East Hampton Town Board has invited the public to join in a celebration of the town’s new electric vehicle charging station, the latest addition to the Town Hall complex, on Friday, November 14, at 9 a.m. The event will take place in front of the police department annex behind the main buildings at 159 Pantigo Road in East Hampton.

Members of the town board and representatives of the Natural Resources Department will showcase the station with electric vehicles provided by Buzz Chew Chevrolet and Tesla Motors. Company representatives will be available to answer any technical questions.

The town was recently awarded funds by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to install the station to encourage its workforce and members of the public to embrace electric vehicles, which provide the opportunity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

NYSERDA is providing approximately $10,500, or roughly 85 percent, of the full cost of equipment and installation, while NYPA is providing an additional $2,000, or the remaining 15 percent.

“I am proud that East Hampton has joined many other communities in supporting electric vehicles by providing a charging station at Town Hall,” said Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, the board’s liaison to the Energy Sustainability Committee. “This is part of our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

“I thank the Natural Resources Department for applying for the funds for this electric vehicle charging station, which moves the Town one step closer to energy efficiency,” said Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

East Hampton Town Budget Stays Below Tax Cap

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By Mara Certic

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s $71.5 million budget has seen some changes to both its revenue and expenditure sides since it was first presented in September, but will remain well below the state-mandated 2-percent tax cap.

East Hampton Town Budget Officer Len Bernard presented some of those changes at a board meeting on Thursday, November 6.

Mr. Bernard explained certain adjustments had been made since the tentative budget was released in September. In the budget, the town had anticipated $50,000 in  revenue from a proposed rental registry law, Mr. Bernard said, which was removed after residents came out in opposition to the law at a public hearing last month.

In its place, Mr. Bernard added $80,900 for lease options the town is entering into with a solar company, he said. “This revenue source may become a recurring revenue source depending on what is discovered during that lease option period, in terms of whether or not the solar energy production is feasible on the sites they’re going to be testing,” Mr. Bernard said.

Mr. Bernard added he had $104,900 for additional public safety into the revenue side of the budget. Mr. Bernard said Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman told him he was “99 percent sure” the town would end up receiving a greater share of sales tax revenue to be used for public safety. This agreement, Mr. Bernard explained, was established as a way to reimburse East End communities that have their own police forces and do not use the Suffolk County Police.

On the expense side, approximately $70,000 was added for police funding, $10,000 for the fisheries committee, $2,500 for the cemeteries fund and $20,000 for a part-time youth coordinator, he  said.

The town has budgeted to close its scavenger waste facility, which will save the town $450,000 between 2014 and 2015.

“It really doesn’t affect revenues, other than the fact that there will be no revenue other than tax revenue for that district. There are going to be no fees because the place is going to be closed,” Mr. Bernard said.

“We’re not realizing any kind of increase in fees, we’re actually realizing a substantial drop is costs that will be going down over time until eventually the place is fully shut down and all of the old debt is paid off,” he said. Mr. Bernard added that the current budget will be $315,000 below the state tax cap, which can be applied to next year’s budget.

Tom Knobel, chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, spoke up during Thursday’s public hearing and said he found some flaws on the revenue side of the budget.

“I believe there are a couple of flaws. I believe you are aiming to a more fee-based budgeting for the town and fees can be punitive,” he said.

Mr. Knobel also expressed concern that the town had anticipated a revenue increase of 18.3 percent, when there has been talk in the town of possibly limiting flights in and out of East Hampton Airport. Mr. Knobel said reducing the number of flights would “would limit the profitability of the airport.”

Other than a $10,000 line item for fisheries, Mr. Knobel said there was nothing in the budget to suggest the town was trying to attract new jobs or strive toward economic development.

Amos Goodman, of Springs, also commented about the town relying on future revenues with “where we are year to date in 2014, really being significantly less than what the previous year’s budget indicated,” he said.

“At $71.5 million, the budget’s less than it was six years ago,” Mr. Cantwell said on Thursday.

Mr. Cantwell added that the New York State comptroller announced on November 4 that after significant review, he had found East Hampton Town’s budget to have both reasonable revenue and expenditure projections.

“The state comptroller’s findings reflect the town’s goal of conservatively projecting non-tax revenue and restraining spending in order to produce a balanced budget,” Supervisor Cantwell said in a release.

 

 

 

Southampton Town Trustees, Police Request More Funding in the Town Budget

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By Mara Certic

Three weeks before the Southampton Town Board is slated to adopt its 2015 budget, representatives of two departments came before the board to ask for additional funding.

“We offer all of our departments and department heads the opportunity to come before the town board as part of the budget crafting process to discuss any thoughts they have, suggestions, complaints et cetera, et cetera,” Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said at the beginning of a work session on Thursday, October 30.

The Southampton Town Trustees and the town’s police department were two such entities that asked for a larger share of the town’s preliminary budget.

“When you took office for the first time the town’s finances were not in the greatest of shape, and the Trustees have always operated on a very, very lean budget all through the years,” Eric Shultz, president of the Trustees, told the supervisor on Thursday.

“I just wanted to start discussing bringing the Trustees’ budget back up to pretty much what it was before this financial crisis started,” he said. “The Trustees have contributed the lion’s share of that budget and feel that we really have helped the town weather this storm.”

Mr. Shultz said there were certain line items that were no longer budgeted for, including overtime pay for bay constables, upkeep of vehicles, legal fees, salaries for office staff and so on.

“In this budget we were told it was basically going to be the same as last year and we need to start coming out of the hole a little bit,” Mr. Shultz said, adding that some of the Trustees’ employees had been driving a vehicle until a spark plug blew out of the engine.

“We’ve not had to ask the town board for any vehicles or any boats or any motors or any repairs to our buildings in the last four or five years because of our sand sales, and that’s coming to an end. There has been zero dollars realized from the sale of sand this year,” he said.

The Trustees made $1.2 million in sand sales in the year following Super Storm Sandy, which they used for upkeep of their fleet and their properties. The current state of Southampton beaches, however, suggests sand sales won’t be on the rise any time soon.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the conversation was one that should have taken place as a part of the requested budget process, where departments lay out what money they need for what projects, so the town can budget accordingly. She added the Trustees are an enterprise fund, meaning they have a revenue source of their own.

The Trustees suggested they brought in the most money to the town, and that as those charged with protecting the waterways, they “control the economic engine of this town.”

Ms. Throne-Holst acknowledged their contributions, but added both the town’s Building Department and Justice Court bring in hefty sums in permit fees and fines as well.

“So what we need to do now is set back the clock and pretend we’re back in September when the budget came out,” she said. “But we need to follow timelines here like everyone else,” she reminded the Trustees. “We’re so understaffed in our office, its hard to get things done,” responded Mr. Shultz.

Southampton Town Police Chief Robert Pearce came before the board to address portions of his department’s budget that concerned him. Chief Pearce had put in a request for six new police officers in order, primarily, to increase police presence in Flanders as well as a request for more money for severance pay and vehicle upkeep.

“That is the reason I am asking for six,” he said, “It is my understanding I’m getting three with a possibility of a fourth in 2016.” In the current budget, there will be three new names added to the police payroll, filling two new positions and one vacancy.

The town has budgeted to add another lieutenant and sergeant to the department—both will be internal promotions—and then to fill those positions and an existing vacancy with department officers.

If Suffolk County adopts its preliminary budget, Ms. Throne-Holst explained there would be a new agreement to provide the town with a greater share of sales tax revenue to use for public safety.

The supervisor suggested some of that money be allocated to pay for one officer immediately, with a commitment to double the amount in the next calendar year.

“It won’t get you there immediately, but it will get you there roughly in a year or so,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. Chief Pearce said back when he had 102 officers he ran a lean department. As the budget stands, his department will have 90 officers in 2015.

“We were running lean then, we’re running emaciated now,” Chief Pearce said. The supervisor said the seasonal nature of the town makes budgeting for the police particularly difficult.

“We try to do the best we can in a way that achieves a balance between the season and the off-season,” she said.

East Hampton Budget

In East Hampton Town, Budget Officer Len Bernard presented another review of the tentative operating budget for 2015. Since it was first presented to the public in September, the town has added $29,124 in net expenditures to the budget. More money for human services, town cemeteries, the East End Arts Council and the fisheries committee, among others, account for the increases, Mr. Bernard explained.

Mr. Bernard said more money had found its way into the revenue fund. This is in part due to expected lease payments from solar companies. According to Mr. Bernard the contracts have been drawn and will be signed shortly. “This is going to happen real soon,” he said.

The overall net to the tax levy, he said, is $152,400 in revenue, which will very slightly lower the projected tax increase. Also, it will put the town $329,569 under the tax cap, which it can carry forward to the next year.

In a work session meeting on October 21, Councilwoman Kathee Burke Gonzalez asked that an additional $36,000 be put into the airport budget in order to install cameras to record flight activity.

Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc requested the town also budget for a part-time skilled carpenter to conduct small repairs on town buildings. “I think Peter’s proposal is acceptable, as far as I’m concerned, and encouraged,” said Councilman Fred Overton.

Mr. Bernard said he would add both of those items to the budget. Both towns are scheduled to adopt their operating budgets by November 20, as stipulated by state law.

David Alicea

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David Alicea is part of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which aims to unite grassroots activists around the country in order to move past the nation’s dependence on coal. Here he discusses the upcoming Rally for Renewables and other ways to move toward energy independence.

Last month, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Manhattan for the People’s Climate March. Now on this Thursday, October 30, the Sierra Club is hosting a rally for renewables. What is that in aid of?

Well it’s an hour before LIPA’s board meeting. They have two board meetings left in the year, on October 30 and December 17. We expect on December 17 they will make a decision whether to move forward or not on an offshore wind project 30 miles off of Montauk. So we saw this board meeting in October as kind of the last public opportunity to really come out there and show the overwhelming support for wind energy from a diversity of voices and to really make it known we’re going to have to rally.

Who are some of the people slated to speak at Thursday’s rally?

We have a pretty good lineup. There will be Lisa Tyson from the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Maureen Murphy for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Stephan Edel from the Center of Working Families, Jeremy Samuelson from the Concerned Citizens of Montauk is trying to make his way out, Gordian Raacke from Renewable Energy Long Island and Catherine Bowes from the National Wildlife Federation. We have some of your basic environmental groups, we have progressive voices, we have conservation focus groups who ask hard questions about new development projects. We’ll also have some staff from elected officials offices in the board meeting itself to also deliver statements on behalf of their legislators.

Do you have any sort of inkling as to whether or not the LIPA board and Governor Cuomo will approve the Deepwater ONE project? 

In August there was some concern that they were going to put all of their decisions on hold. We were pretty concerned because—“On hold ’til when?” Originally, the commitment for 400 MW of renewable energy was made in 2012. Then you had LIPA reorganization, which delayed things, but they promised us they still would make a decision once reorganization settled down. And so we put a lot of pressure on the governor and LIPA over summer and they promised they would make a decision by the end of the year, which I think was a big victory. This process is the best chance for offshore wind. Which way LIPA and the governor will go, I don’t know. I think we’ve been pretty good in showing the overwhelming purport. We have polling data that shows more than 80 percent of Long Islanders support this, we should have at least 50 people there for Thursday’s middle-of-the-day event and normally no one goes to LIPA board meetings. But, the decision will be made behind closed doors sometime over the next month, or month and a half.

Election Day is just around the corner. What are some of the things our elected officials should be doing to continue to combat climate change? 

We’ve seen the Town of East Hampton with its 100-percent by 2020 goal. Honestly, this is like a national example of leadership on climate issues. So I think now it’s operationalizing and making sure they reach that goal is the challenge they have. And that’s where we feel the Deepwater project fits in, in really helping them achieve that, but I think they’re going to keep doing great things to sort of make sure that comes through and we’ve been working really closely with Senator LaValle and others on being on the forefront of wind energy. We’ve just sent a letter to the governor about this. So I think it’s really having them keep doing the great work they’re doing and having the East End serve as a real example. We could set the stage for the rest of Long Island, for the state and the nation. It’s a really exciting movement.

The Rally for Renewable Energy will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, at LIPA HQ, 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard in Uniondale. Those interested in carpooling from the East End should call Dea Million at (612) 644-1162.

 

 

LaValle and Thiele Secure $700,000 to Fund a Roundabout on Route 114

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Roundabout

Elected officials gathered at the intersection of Route 114 and Toilsome Lane to announce that $700,000 had been secured to fund the construction of a roundabout at this location. From left to right are, East Hampton Village Superintendent of Public Works Scott Pithian, East Hampton Village Trustees Barbara Borsack and Richard Lawler, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr., and East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced a state partnership with East Hampton Village to fund and construct a roundabout at the troublesome five-corner intersection of State Route 114 and Toilsome Lane on Monday, October 27.

“As you can see, this is a very interesting intersection, and so I think it’s been on the drawing board, or discussed, for many years, how we can traverse the intersection in the safest way possible,” Senator LaValle said just yards away from the busy intersection on Monday afternoon.

“The Village of East Hampton made a request and Assemblyman Thiele and I were able to meet the request of the village,” he said.

“The hard work was done here by the village,” the assemblyman said, which managed to reach community consensus on the proposed roundabout.

“It involves a state highway that’s part of this, and the Department of Transportation is fond of saying ‘Oh we’ll give you the permit for it, but we don’t have any money to pay for it,’” Mr. Thiele said.  ”So we wanted to try to eliminate that particular problem and that’s why the senator and I were able to get $700,000 toward the cost of this — which is not the entire cost but is a substantial portion to help the village.”

“This is one of those rare occasions where all levels of government have worked together,” said East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. “I’m very, very pleased,” he added.

“All the engineering and planning has been done so this can move forward,” Mr. Thiele said. The roundabout will have a raised, mountable and landscaped center island. The project will involve the installation of improved drainage structures as well as certain traffic-calming and pedestrian-safety measures.

Mr. Rickenbach said the project was a “work in progress,” but added the village hopes to have it completed within the next year.

Assemblyman Thiele added he and Mr. LaValle are going to be asking the DOT to look at other issues along Route 114, including speed limits and the need to repave the road from the Sag Harbor line through to East Hampton Village. “Route 114 is next for us to look at,” he said.

Rental Registry Law Angers Residents

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Critics of a proposed rental registration law showed up in droves to air their opposition at East Hampton Town’s first informational session on the law.

Assistant Town Attorney Michael Sendlensky, who wrote the legislation, explained the ins and outs of the law on Tuesday’s work session.

The law would require anyone who rents their home in the town to register the property with the town. When registering, homeowners would have to state the number of bedrooms and rooms in their home. There would be a registration fee, the amount of which has yet to be decided.

“We’re not changing any of the current restrictions, we’re just requiring it be registered, so it can be monitored,” Mr. Sendlensky said.

“The renting of one’s home has been a tradition here in East Hampton since the early 1900s and it is a major source of income for many. It helps pay for the mortgage, it pays for college tuitions, it pays for vacations. And rental registry does not deal with, nor will it discourage, overcrowding in homes or the multiple rentals. There are laws on the books that limit the number of occupants in the house,” said Margaret Turner, the director of the East Hampton Business Alliance, at Tuesday’s work session.
“Creating more legislation does not fix the problem. It will hurt the legitimate, law-abiding landlords and create hardships for the renters,” she said.

“The dynamics and the importance of the rental business, if you will, is a dynamic that has a deep history in the community and is a very important economic driver in the town for people’s lives as well as for the local economy and we get that,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.

“The last thing we want to do is take that away, it’s not a threat on our part. We’re simply trying to address this question of those who are abusing this situation.”

The board will seek more public comment on the law at its next informational session, which will take place on Tuesday, November 11, at the Montauk Firehouse.

Sag Harbor Hires New Senior Building Inspector

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Municipal Building

By Stephen J. Kotz

East Hampton Town’s current chief building inspector, Tom Preiato, will join Sag Harbor Village as its senior building inspector on November 7.

Jose Escalante, who was hired this summer to replace Tim Platt as village inspector, will stay on for now as a building inspector and work under Mr. Preiato.

Mr. Preiato was one of the finalists for the opening last summer but said he withdrew from consideration in part because taking the job would have required a major pay cut.

Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride on Tuesday morning said the village board saw an opportunity to improve the efficiency of its building department at a time when the village is undergoing a major building boom by reaching out to Mr. Preiato, who has more than 15 years of experience as a building inspector with East Hampton Town.

“He’s been in the trenches a long time,” Mr. Gilbride said.

“No disrespect to Jose,” the mayor added. “He didn’t have the field experience. It was baptism by fire for him.”

The village’s move came as a surprise to many employees at the Municipal Building, who said they knew nothing about the village’s intention to hire a new building inspector until this week.

Mr. Preiato, who is a Sag Harbor resident, said he was looking forward to his new position. “I’m ready to jump right in,” he said. “I know there is a backlog. But I think I bring a lot to the table.”

Mr. Gilbride said the village board decided to act in large part because members were concerned about the growing backlog of building permit applications, a backlog, he added, that was already posing a problem when Mr. Platt resigned last summer.

At their October 14 meeting, board members expressed surprise that Building Department revenue had declined for the year to date, despite signs of ongoing construction work in nearly every village neighborhood.

Mr. Gilbride said after that meeting, he drove around the village and noticed that many projects were proceeding without posted building permits.

With the Watchcase condominiums under construction in the old Bulova building, Barons Cove being redeveloped and the Harbor’s Edge condominiums nearing completion, not to mention dozens of other smaller projects scattered throughout the village, Mr. Gilbride said the time to bolster the department was now.

“Before things got too out of hand, we decided to act,” Mr. Gilbride said. “Hopefully, we can now break through this backlog.”

Mr. Gilbride added that the village is looking for ways to streamline the permit process, so building permits for simple projects can be issued more quickly. “If all the paperwork is in and it doesn’t need a board approval, it shouldn’t sit 17, 18 down on the pile before it is issued,” he said.

Mr. Preiato will be paid $75,000 in his new position. The mayor said Mr. Escalante is being paid approximately $42,500 in large part because he has less experience. Mr. Escalante is a probationary employee until December.

Mr. Gilbride, who prides himself on his tight budget practices, said the increase in spending was justified. “At the end of the day, in all honesty, Tim Platt was a very valuable guy,” the mayor said. “We probably weren’t paying him what he was worth.”

Mr. Gilbride met with East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell on Monday to discuss the matter.

Mr. Cantwell said the town is shorthanded in its own building department but would work quickly to replace Mr. Preiato.

“The building department is a very busy office,” Mr. Cantwell said, “a very busy operation, and we are going to do everything we can to keep it operating effectively.”

Mr. Preiato has served as the town’s provisional chief building inspector since late 2013. A provisional appointment is made when there is no updated Civil Service list of qualified candidates available, Mr. Cantwell said.

With Mr. Preiato leaving the town in just two weeks, the town will be down to one building inspector, Dan Casey. Another building inspector, Robert Fisher, is currently serving a work-related suspension.

Mr. Cantwell said East Hampton has already hired one retired building inspector to work on a part-time basis. He said the board would likely appoint two new full-time inspectors when it meets on November 6. It is also considering hiring another part-time inspector, he added.

The village board made the appointment at a special meeting on Tuesday morning. The village Building Department was closed afterward for a staff meeting.