Tag Archive | "MTA"

Gilbride Vows to Fight for Waterfront Parcel

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On Tuesday night, following an executive session of the Sag Harbor Village Trustees, the board agreed to hire attorneys Denise Schoen and Brian Lester to explore countering an agreement by the Long Island Railroad’s Metropolitan Transit Authority to sell 16,000 square feet of property adjacent to village-owned waterfront to a condo developer rather than the village.

The decision followed a contentious village board meeting where, despite public support for the purchase, Trustee Tiffany Scarlato publicly opposed a continued fight for ownership of the parcel. Scarlato, who also voted against hiring Schoen and Lester to explore the matter further, cited legal concerns as the impetus for her decision. She noted East End Ventures, the company that has sought to adversely possess the MTA parcel as a part of their 18-unit luxury condo plan, is an applicant in front of the village’s planning board.

“I think the board has to do some serious thinking about the potential costs of engaging in litigation with a current applicant and the benefits of doing that,” said Scarlato.

Village attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. strongly urged the board to cease conversation on the subject until it had adjourned into executive session.

At Tuesday’s village board meeting, several members of the community, including Save Sag Harbor board member April Gornik, Save Sag Harbor President Mia Grosjean and American Hotel owner Ted Conklin all expressed their gratitude to Gilbride for pursuing the property. In late July, Gilbride sent the last of several letters from the village to the MTA requesting they sell the property to the village, which has expressed interest in turning an adjacent waterfront parcel next to the Lance Corporal Haerter Veteran Memorial Bridge into a public park.

This week, Gilbride received a letter from vice president of the LIRR Christine Rinaldi announcing the authority intended to sell the property to East End Ventures at fair market value and that an easement granted to the village in 1915 was extinguished in 1930 when state Route 114 was rerouted and the parcel in question was no longer used for highway purposes.

“As a condition of the sale, East End Ventures has agreed to grant an easement to the general public across the property for the construction of a walkway,” writes Rinaldi in the letter, although the details of the easement have yet to be finalized.

“Don’t think for one minute that I am rolling over,” said Gilbride on Tuesday night. “I told [Rinaldi] I intend to vigorously fight for this for the residents.”

Village Eyes Old MTA Roadbed

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Last week Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride penned the last in a succession of letters to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) seeking to acquire a parcel of land next to beachfront owned by the village – a parcel of land East End Ventures, the developers who have proposed 18 waterfront condos on an adjacent property, have sued the MTA to gain possession of.

“The property is adjacent to other village property and has historically been used by the village to provide access to a beach for the public,” wrote Gilbride on July 17. “As an adjoining property owner of the property, the village’s interest in the property is consistent with our goal to enhance public access to the waterfront. Furthermore the enhancement of waterfront access is in keeping with the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) adopted by the village to promote such access.”

Gilbride goes on to note that the village had commissioned a landscape design by Edmund Hollander in 1996 for the beachfront with the adjoining MTA parcel included in the plans. The design illustrates a waterfront park with clusters of native plants and grasses, with a central walkway and six benches.

The village has also had an active legal interest in the land based on an LIRR easement given to the village in the 1950s.

 “As part of our responsibility to the taxpayers of Sag Harbor, it is our position at this time that the village should have been included as a necessary party to any litigation that attempts to diminish or eliminate the village’s rights in the property,” continues Gilbride.

On Monday, Gilbride noted he was not the first mayor to reach out to the MTA about the parcel, but that the village had been trying to gain possession of the land since the mid-1990s, crediting former Mayor Pierce Hance for beginning the discussion and commissioning the landscape plan.

Three letters have been sent to the authority this year alone and while the village has yet to hear back from attorneys representing the MTA, it has received the support of Mitchell H. Pally, the Suffolk County Representative of the MTA Board of Commissioners.

“Pursuant to your request, I have been in contact with both representatives of the MTA and the Long Island Rail Road expressing my support for the transfer of the property to the Village of Sag Harbor once the current litigation is finalized,” wrote Pally to former Mayor Greg Ferraris in May of this year.

“What I would love to see, what I would love to be a part of, is knowing at some point in time we created a nice walkway and path around the bridge,” said Gilbride. “Ultimately, it can only compliment whatever project would go next to there.”

Trustee Tim Culver, who Gilbride said conducted the research discovering the easement, said the letter has nothing to do with the proposed condos adjacent to the parcel, but rather with continuing the village’s pursuit of public access to the waterfront.

“I haven’t even looked at their plans,” said Culver on Monday. “I don’t care. There is public property that gives access to the waterfront. Whatever other issues there are here someone smarter than me can figure out, but if this all gets fixed up it will only benefit the adjacent property owner.” 

East End Digest: May 29 through June 4

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Gospel Benefit

On Saturday, June 6 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. the Maidstone Club in East Hampton will host a gospel benefit for the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center. Making its first appearance on the East End, “Songs of Solomon,” the award-winning inspirational choral youth ensemble based in Harlem, will perform at the benefit. The world-renowned group, created and led by Chantel Renee Wright, herself an award-winning choral conductor from Chicago, has performed all over the United States and in South Africa. It was at the Gospel Music Workshop of America three years ago that Bonnie Cannon, Executive Director of the Bridgehampton Child Care Center, first heard them.

“They blew me away,” she says. “I knew right then that someday I’d get them out here.”

The high energy group, whose repertoire ranges from gospel and spirituals to jazz and classical music (they sang the Bach Magnificat in D at Carnegie Hall) has performed with such artists as Elton John, Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire and Aretha Franklin.

Chairing the benefit is U.S. Congressman Tim Bishop, who served on the board of the Bridgehampton Child Care Center for five years and remains a member of the advisory board.

“The programs at the Center play a vital role in the lives of so many of our lower income and immigrant families,” he says. “The Center serves what is often an invisible population and I’m grateful to the Maidstone Club for supporting our mission.”

The Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center was born out of tragedy in 1949 when a house fire killed the untended children of migrant farm workers. The shocked community rallied to found the first, community-based migrant child care center in the country. The Center continues to serve the less fortunate on the East End and offers after-school programs, a low cost summer camp, youth programs and adult development services such as ESL and GED. It also hosts Head Start for preschoolers from as far away as Montauk and Westhampton.

For reservations to hear “Songs of Solomon,” call 537-0616. There will also be cocktails, hors-d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Tickets are $150 per person. Seating is limited.

Dems Pick Candidates

On Friday evening, May 29, the Southampton Town Democratic Committee nominated its candidates for 2009 during their nomination convention at the Southampton Inn. Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst, a Sag Harbor resident, was unanimously nominated for the position of Southampton Town Supervisor. The unity theme was echoed as incumbent councilwoman Sally Pope was nominated to run for a full term. Pope won a special election for her post last November. Bridget Fleming, a Noyac resident and attorney, was also selected to run for the open council seat. The Dems candidate for town highway superintendent is Alex Gregor of Hampton Bays who is the Southampton Town Independence leader.

Sitting Southampton Town Justices Deborah Kooperstein and Barbara Wilson were nominated to continue in their judicial roles. Selected as town trustee candidates by the Democrats were Southampton Town bayman and oyster farmer Bill Pell and Chris Garvey, a Hampton Bays resident and member of the Hampton Bays School Board.

Southampton Town

Board Honors EMS Staff

During last week’s Southampton Town Board meeting, held on Tuesday, May 26, supervisor Linda Kabot honored the town’s emergency medical service workers.

“These individuals truly embody the citizen service has been a cornerstone of our nation’s prosperity since the days of its founding,” said Kabot of the assembled group. “They are among the countless Americans who have stepped forward throughout history to assist others, and they have strengthened their communities in the process. EMS volunteers are a critical asset in every community. They provide care at the scene and on the way to the hospital, which dramatically improves survival and recovery rates.”

Kabot added that the town’s eight different EMS agencies responded to over 5,000 medical calls in 2008. The Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance responded to 620 calls last year, and Bridgehampton Volunteer Ambulance responded to 116.

From May 17 through May 23, the town celebrated EMS week, with the theme being “EMS: A Proud Partner of Your Community.” Initiated by President Richard Nixon in 1973, National Emergency Medical Services Week has been celebrated each year to recognize the accomplishments of those who dedicate themselves to saving others.

Hampton Bays

Video Game Tournament

Two Hampton Bays High School students have organized a Video Game Tournament to be held on Sunday, June 7. The event is open to anyone over the age of 13. In order to compete, participants under 18 must bring a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian. The evening is a fundraiser for the Hampton Bays High School Class of 2010, though a portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to a local hospital or charity, yet to be determined. The evening consists of three games: Halo 3 as a team and doubles, Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Each game costs $4. The event will be held at the Hampton Bays Middle School and begins at 10 a.m. For more information call (631) 525-1825.

Peconic Bay

MTA Tax Exemption

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr., has introduced legislation that would exempt all employers within the towns of East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold from the provisions of the 0.34 percent payroll tax recently enacted in the 12 county MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) region, as part of the financial bailout of the MTA. Despite the increased taxes and fees in the MTA region, fares on the Long Island Railroad were still increased an average of 10 percent.

The payroll tax will raise an additional $1.5 billion in annual revenue for the MTA. The MTA region has a population of more than 13.1 million people. The Peconic Bay Region has a population of approximately 140,000 or about 1.1 percent of the region.

“The MTA is a bloated bureaucracy that has a demonstrated record of fiscal shortcomings,” Thiele stated. “To throw more money at the MTA without true reform is irresponsible. To increase taxes and fees during a period of deep recession is even more foolhardy. As for the Peconic Bay Region, our year-round residents get minimal service, at best, with just a few trains a day. Further, we already pay an additional [a portion of our] sales tax and a mortgage tax to subsidize the MTA. We will also pay the new fare hikes for their declining service.”

“It has been estimated that as part of the Volpe Study on improved rail/bus service for the East End that we already pay $40 million to $60 million more than we receive in service from the MTA on an annual basis,” continued Thiele. “In short, we pay way too much for way too little. The East End simply does not have the same level of NYC commuters, yet we pay the same as everyone else. The only fair solution is to exempt the East End from the new tax.”

Thiele stated that in addition, he will continue to pursue the option of the establishment of a Peconic Bay Regional Transportation Authority separate from the MTA to provide for the East End’s transportation needs.

NY State Assembly

Clean Act

A broad coalition spanning business, economic development, labor, and environmental groups called on the state last week to place a $5 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Bond Act on the November 2009 ballot. New York State Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney convened a hearing in Albany to discuss the merits of the draft legislation that would place the measure on the ballot.

State officials say the measure will invest in long-term improvements to waste water infrastructure, energy efficiency, transit, public health protection and economic development projects; and is expected to provide opportunities for “green-collar” jobs.

Bond act supporters noted the long term benefits of investing in bonding funds. A recent study shows that a $1 billion investment in water and waste water infrastructure creates $3 billion in economic activity and supports up to 26,000 new jobs with an average salary of $50,000. Each $1 billion invested generates $82.4 million in state and local tax revenue.

“Even a conservative view of this bond act suggests that it would create over 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers. These would be good-paying jobs in management, construction, and innovative industries,” said Jim Melius, administrator NYS Laborers Tri-Funds.

“The last Clean Water and Clean Air Bond Act, which passed in 1996, has been spent down yet the challenges of climate change continue to grow,” added Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “The Clean Water, Clean Air & Green Jobs Bond Act of 2009 will help meet those challenges, while putting New Yorkers back to work and creating permanent taxpayer savings.” ?

The Great State of Long Island

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By Karl Grossman

 “Suffolk’s Declaration of Independence,” was the heading of a statement issued by the Suffolk County Legislature last week after it passed a home rule message backing bills in the state legislature that would set up a commission to study secession of Nassau and Suffolk from the state and their formation into a new State of Long Island.

The rhetoric at the meeting at which the home rule message was debated included Legislator Dan Losquadro of Shoreham, leader of the panel’s GOP minority, with a history degree from Stony Brook University, citing Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” He went on: “I think we are at the point of revolt. I think we’ve gone past it…I think we need to stand up and take whatever action is necessary to throw off those shackles and not be beholden to the tyrants in Albany.”
 “We’re being exploited. We’re being raped,” said Cameron Alden of Islip.

Behind what was happening was the imposition by the state of a bail-out package for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that includes a payroll tax of 34 cents per each $100 in salaries for businesses, non-profit organizations and school districts in a 12-county area that includes Suffolk.

Some might say the talk was an extreme overreaction. But consider what the state will be doing. Although initially, county officials calculated that Suffolk provides more than $250 million a year to the MTA, including through a quarter-cent in sales tax for every dollar spent here, further analysis done last week by Bill Faulk, aide to Legislator Edward Romaine, working with the county legislature’s Budget Review Office, showed quite more is involved—that the actual figure is $393 million. This includes monies going to the MTA from the sales tax ($97.5 million last year), an even bigger chunk from the mortgage recording tax ($125 million), from the petroleum business tax ($92 million), a general business surcharge ($47 million) and a surcharge on telephone use ($8 million).

The new taxes and fees which will be going to the MTA from Suffolk were estimated at $127.2 million a year with $98.5 million from the payroll tax, $26.5 million from a steeper vehicle registration fee and $2.1 million from in a higher drivers license fee. That comes to $520.3 million to the MTA from Suffolk—or $347 a year for each man, woman and child in Suffolk.

As William Lindsay, a Holbrook Democrat, presiding officer of the legislature and author of the home rule message, said in last week’s statement: “This MTA payroll tax has pushed me over the edge. New York State cannot continue to bleed Suffolk and Nassau counties dry to bankroll programs that do not benefit Long Island residents in any way, shape or form. If we need to declare our independence to be taken seriously in Albany, then so be it.”

There was opposition to the home rule message, which passed 12-to-6.

Legislator Brian Beedenbender of Centereach said “New York State clearly hasn’t given us a fair share” but urged consideration of the “gravity” of what was being proposed. Making Long Island a state “would change everything—from the make-up of the House of Representatives to the number of people in the U.S. Senate to what the U.S. flag looks like.”

Mr. Romaine of Center Moriches stressed, meanwhile, “that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And Presiding Officer Lindsay wants to squeak.”

Not too incidentally, the bills in the State Legislature to set up a commission to study the feasibility of creating a State of Long Island—and having a referendum on the issue held in Suffolk and Nassau next year—are sponsored by two officials not known for histrionics: State Senator Kenneth LaValle of Port Jefferson and State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. of Sag Harbor.

Legislator Thomas Barraga of West Islip, a former New York State assemblyman, said in last week’s debate: “I understand the frustration of this body” and the measure “may make you feel good but it will go absolutely nowhere.” But, as Suffolk Comptroller Joseph Sawicki of Southold, also a former assemblyman and long a Long Island statehood proponent, told the county legislators: “It’s time to make a stand and send a message to Albany. I’ll be the first to admit this is a long shot but, if nothing else, it focuses on how Albany mistreats Long Island.”

Locals Outraged Over New MTA Tax

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“Isn’t this taxation without representation? I thought we already went through this,” said Sag Harbor Variety Store owner Lisa Field when asked what she thought of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new payroll tax.

The tax, signed into law earlier this month, will require local businesses, including hospitals, schools and governments, to pay a 34 cent tax for every $100 of payroll. Suffolk County is set to pump millions of dollars into the MTA to help shore up the authority’s $1.8 million deficit. From the halls of the state assembly to the sidewalks of Main Street, people are saying the MTA is unfairly taxing Suffolk County residents for a service they rarely use and the county is in essence funding the New York City transportation system.

State Assemblyman Fred Thiele contends the MTA package was made “behind closed doors” with officials, hailing from the New York Metropolitan area, leading the negotiations.

Back in March, Thiele seemed certain the tax wouldn’t be voted through, but the state legislature indeed passed it on May 6, after state senator Brian Foley of Long Island swayed the vote, allowing the package to pass by two votes in the senate.

“Between March and now a lot of arm twisting went on,” explained Thiele.

“I thought we were pretty effective in putting up a unified decision,” stated Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman of the efforts made by local officials to oppose the payroll tax. “We have lost the power, and all of this money is leaving Long Island and going to New York City.”

Schneiderman maintains the East End is underserved by the MTA. Although the county contributed $250 million to the transit authority last year, the MTA currently runs just three trains on weekdays from the East End to New York City.

Geoff Lynch of the Hampton Jitney said the transit system works well in New York City because the authority services a small geographic area with a high density population. But on the East End, he added, a smaller population is spread out over a wide geographic area.

According to a press release from Suffolk County Legislator Edward Romaine, the county will pay around $520 million when the new MTA taxes and fees are enacted or about $347 per resident per year — on top of the taxes residents already pay toward the MTA. Schneiderman believes only 10 percent of Suffolk’s population, or 150,000 people, ride the LIRR.

“The county will pay around $3,000 to $4,000 per rider. We could lease each of them a car and we could forget about the trains,” argued Schneiderman.

When asked if East End residents will get more LIRR service in exchange for their contribution to the MTA payroll tax, Sam Zambuto of the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) said no.

“[The Payroll Tax] allows the LIRR to maintain the existing level of service and eliminates the service reductions that were slated for implementation,” Zambuto reported. “It also reduces the fare increase from an average of 26 percent to an average of 10 percent.”

MTA representative Kevin Ortiz said even with $1.8 billion in funds procured from the payroll tax and other fees, the MTA will still face a small deficit in the upcoming year. Ortiz argued that the new funds would bring additional wages to the county because the MTA uses the services of  subcontractors in Deer Park, and other Suffolk locations. He added the MTA’s capital plan would create $11.8 billion in wages and salaries in the 12 counties it services.

“They have to look at the big picture,” said Ortiz of Suffolk residents.

But local residents, from hospital administrators to business owners, say they are having a hard time seeing the “big picture.”

“Everybody that is in business out here will be subject to this new tax,” asserted Sag Harbor Village Mayor Greg Ferraris. He added that the tax will cost the village administration upwards of $10,000.

Southampton Hospital faces an even steeper tax burden because of its large payroll. Marsha Kenny, the director of public affairs, said the hospital had already closed its books for the 2009 budget when they learned of the tax. The hospital expects to pay $140,000 to the MTA this year.

Len Bernard, the Sag Harbor School District Business Manager, estimated the school will pay between $46,000 to $50,000 for the tax, though the state has promised to reimburse school districts.

“I am not at all confident the state will give funds to reimburse the school districts,” remarked school superintendent Dr. John Gratto. “I am concerned that if they do reimburse the school district for the tax it will come at the expense of general state aid.”

“I can point to every single line item on the budget and tell you how it benefits someone in the community, but I can’t with this,” continued Gratto. “We are just subsidizing New York City.”

Responding to the outrage of local communities over the payroll tax, the Suffolk County Legislature voted on Tuesday, May 12, to create a commission to conduct a feasibility study on Long Island seceding from the State of New York.

“We want it to be on the ballot next year as a non-binding referendum to create the State of Long Island,” said Schneiderman. “Every year we give the state about $8 billion but we only receive around $5 billion in services.”

Schneiderman conceded, however, that a state hasn’t successfully seceded since the 1860s, when West Virginia split from Virginia.

“I think this is more symbolic,” said Schneiderman. “We want to send a message to Albany that the present situation is unacceptable.”

Thiele believes Suffolk County constituents are feeling increasingly overburdened by state taxes, especially in light of the economic downturn.

“I have never seen a recession end by taxing people more,” he declared.

It may be that the MTA payroll tax will have a trickle down effect, with implications not just for business owners but patrons of Long Island restaurants and retail establishments as well.

“A lot of businesses in the area increase their prices in the summer and decrease their prices in the winter,” said Tora Matsuoka, co-owner of Sen and Phao Thai Kitchen. “Prior to finding out about this tax, [and a new beer and wine tax] my feelings were that we wouldn’t readjust our prices, but it is something we are considering … taxes in New York are stringent and I think it is driving people out of the state.”

Village Opposes MTA Tax as Unjust and Costly

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During its monthly meeting, the Village of Sag Harbor Board of Trustees passed a resolution opposing a Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) payroll tax that mayor Greg Ferraris noted would cost the village, business owners and the school district thousands if the law is upheld.

The legislation, signed into law in May by Governor David Paterson, requires that for every $100 in employee wages paid, employers must pay a tax to the MTA of 34 cents. The law applies to 12 counties around Manhattan that have MTA service, including Suffolk County. The plan is a part of a multi-million dollar MTA bailout plan conceived by the state.

Sag Harbor is not the first municipality or agency to oppose the tax in Suffolk County as many governments and businesses have already publicly stated the tax is unjust due to the lack of services the MTA provides the East End of Long Island.

“This will cost the village in excess of $10,000,” said Ferraris at the Tuesday board meeting, noting the tax, while in effect as of September is retroactive to January of 2009 — an even greater challenge for municipalities and businesses that did not budget for the expense and now may have to come up with back taxes to comply with state law.

For Ferraris, a certified public accountant in the village, the law not only affects the village, but many businesses in the area, despite many feeling the tax is unfair due to the lack of MTA service on the East End.

“It will have a striking effect,” said Ferraris on Wednesday. “Whether or not we get the services is another issue, but that they would impose yet another tax on small businesses in this economy is counter-productive.”

Ferraris added the fact that local businesses and municipalities would foot the same cost as those in counties that have a substantial amount of MTA service only adds insult to injury.

“And it is exponential,” he pointed out. “We will be paying for it on the village level, at the town level, at the county level, so all of your tax bills will increase, as well as the cost of services whether it be from a restaurant or retail shop.”

Ferraris said he hopes political pressure from government leaders throughout Suffolk County will force the state to repeal the law.

“At the very least it should be indexed where counties receiving the benefit of MTA services would pay a greater share,” said Ferraris. “Honestly, I believe the MTA should be paid solely by the users of the MTA.”

The board empowered village clerk Sandra Schroeder to write a letter to state officials on its behalf opposing the tax hike.

While the village board may be opposed to a payroll tax to save the state’s transportation authority, it is not opposed to looking into setting up an authority of its own in Sag Harbor — this authority made of village business district property owners interested in creating a business improvement district.

Ferraris unveiled the concept, in its beginning phases, that suggests property owners could band together in a trustee and state certified business improvement district, which would enable property owners to collectively seek bonding for projects as big as sidewalk replacement and as small as snow shoveling in the winter.

“Essentially, we are just agreeing to incur debt for the district with the tax levy passed on to members of that district,” explained Ferraris on Wednesday. The board of trustees would have to agree on the amount of debt the village was willing to take on for the district, said Ferraris, but would have no power on what projects were completed with the monies as a result. A not-for-profit district management association, made up of tenants and property owners in the district, would vote on the projects the district would seek funding for. Property owners, said Ferraris, would need to make up 51 percent of the board, which would have to agree with a majority on any spending they wished to take on.

According to Ferraris, the district would be able to fund improvements to restore and promote district activity, from street repairs and sidewalk repairs to landscaping or the widening of streets. They could also fund any services that provide for the enjoyment or protection of the public, from beautification projects to street fairs, and any improvements that increase access for those with disabilities.

 “This all came about during a snowstorm in February or January when a couple of business owners came up to me and asked why we did not have village workers shoveling snow on the sidewalks like they do in East Hampton,” explained Ferraris.

Sag Harbor, said Ferraris has less than a third of the manpower and money than the town for such an endeavor. Many business owners, said Ferraris, including “one being the editor of the local paper” said they would gladly pay for such an increase in services.

 “I am not saying we have to move forward with this,” stressed Ferraris. “It is a recommendation. I would like to schedule a work session with property owners in the village to see if this is something they are interested in.”

On Wednesday, Ferraris said a meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 26 at 5 p.m.

In other village news, the board held off on a public hearing regarding the creation of a traffic bureau in Sag Harbor. The bureau would be able to collect fines on traffic tickets, save felony, misdemeanor and speeding offenses, if the legislation is passed, no longer having to go through the Town of Southampton.

Ferraris said village attorney Fred Thiele was exploring the idea with village police chief Tom Fabiano, and the board should continue to hold the hearing open until next month’s meeting when they will have more information on the implications of creating the bureau.

Gigi Morris, of the village environmental watchdog group 725-GREEN, asked the board to consider allowing a second Sag Harbor Historical and Whaling Museum Energy Fair to be a village-wide event. With letters of support from both the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Sag Harbor Business Alliance and assurances the event would require no village resources, Ferraris said the board would be inclined to support the idea for the village-wide fair, which will take place on July 11.