Tag Archive | "North Haven Village Board"

North Haven Adopts Budget with Little Fanfare

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Low budgets apparently equal low turnouts. Such was the case Tuesday in North Haven, where the village board received no comments when it held a hearing on a proposed $1.31 million budget that cuts spending by 4 percent.

Despite the reduction in spending, taxes will rise by 7 percent simply because the village, which has been dipping into its fund balance in recent years to hold taxes in check, has decided to put the brakes on that practice this year.

Last year, the village used nearly $370,000 from that balance to offset taxes. This year, it will use only $178,486.

“Over the years we have been using more and more fund balance due to lack of other revenues,” said Mayor Jeff Sander, who added that the board had decided to reduce the amount of reserve funds it was using by half. “The only other way to make up the difference is through taxes,” he said.

At a recent budget work session, Mr. Sander said the village, which is projecting a $690,000 fund balance at the end of the fiscal year, wants to maintain a fund balance of at least $500,000.

Even with the tax hike, the owner of a house valued at $1 million will pay about $56 in village taxes next year.

Mayor Sander said progress, while slow, is being made on the plan to place 4-Poster devices at various sites around the village in an effort to reduce tick-borne diseases. Four-Posters are feeding stations that require the deer to brush up against rollers that spread insecticide on their fur, killing ticks.

Installing the devices has been one part of the village’s strategy, along with the hiring of professional hunters, to cope with what officials say is a deer herd that is too large.

Mayor Sander said he has been inquiring of homeowner associations to see if any were willing to have 4-Posters in their developments and help underwrite the cost of the stations. While some have expressed a willingness to help out, the village is still awaiting a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Chris Miller, a landscaper who has been helping the mayor negotiate the permit process, said he expected it to take about two months for the DEC to issue a permit. He said the village would be better off for the full number of stations in its initial permit application, even if it did not install them all at once.

One station should be enough to service an area of 40 to 60 acres, Mr. Miller said. The DEC also restricts the stations from being within 100 yards of a house or area where there are children, although if the stations are fenced in, the DEC might allow exceptions, he said.

Mayor Sander said the village might try to rent 4-Poster stations from Shelter Island, which has used them in the past. He said the village has no place to store them if it did buy its own stations.

The board held off on accepting a bid to replant the entire Route 114 traffic circle, which Summerhill Landscaping had offered to do for $5,565. The landscaping around the circle was damaged last winter when it was run over by a vehicle during a storm. Board members agreed they wanted the damage repaired but balked at the suggestion that all the plants needed to be replaced and agreed to first review the matter before approving the expenditure.

The board also agreed to hold a public hearing on May 6 to add persicaria perfoliata, also known as mile-a-minute weed, to a list of noxious plants that homeowners can eradicate without special permits.

That elicited a comment from a member of the sparse audience, who asked if the board had ever considered banning bamboo. Although the answer was no, board members discussed the problems rapidly spreading bamboo can cause to neighboring lawns and gardens.

 

Noisy Neighbors and Abandoned Boats in North Haven

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After winning an uncontested election nearly two weeks ago, North Haven Village trustees Jim Smyth and Jeff Sander were sworn in during the monthly board meeting on Tuesday, July 7. The elections were relatively calm, but the village board faces a number of issues moving forward, including the adoption of a flood prevention law, handling of abandoned boats on Sunset Beach Road and noise complaints.
For the past few months, municipalities large and small have drafted new flood prevention laws in response to the updated flood maps produced by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and North Haven Village is very close to adopting a law to correspond with the new maps. On Tuesday, board members were presented with a 60-page draft of the proposed legislation, prepared by the village attorney Anthony Tohill.
Georgia Welch, the village clerk, informed the board that a copy of the draft was sent to both FEMA and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for New York State. FEMA responded to the village in a letter and tacitly stated that the draft law includes all of the new requirements, reported Welch. Although, North Haven is still waiting for a response from the DEC, Welch said Tohill was certain the board could move forward and adopt the law at the next meeting on Tuesday, August 4. Welch noted that the law must be adopted before the end of September to continue North Haven resident’s eligibility for federal flood insurance.
In order to tackle a long-standing problem of local residents abandoning their boats and seafaring apparatuses on the beach near Sunset Beach Road, the village board passed a local law on Tuesday giving them the power to dispose of unpermitted boats or boats left on public beaches after the summer season ends. The law was first introduced last month and was swiftly adopted after a public hearing elicited no comment from community members. Now that the law has been passed, however, the board struggled with how to implement it.
“We have to set up a program to handle these boats … Who will take them off the beach, where will we put them … what about implementation?” asked trustee James Morrissey.
Although the board failed to voice a solution to Morrissey’s first couple of questions, they did agree to post a sign at the public beach alerting the public to the new law. Sander said the sign could stipulate that sea craft storage on the beach is allowed only in the summer and by permit only.
As the board seemed to settle one village issue, another undesirable situation was brought to their attention. Both this summer and last, residents of Maunakea Street have complained about a renter on their block. The Maunakea residents claim the renter regularly hosts several dozen guests and holds parties in the wee hours of the evening. Village building inspector Al Daniels acted as intermediary between the property owner, Joe DeSane, his renter, and an adjacent neighbor, Frank Pintauro, during a meeting held on Friday, June 19.
“DeSane took responsibility for his tenant … [but] I think Mr. Pintauro tried to communicate to the tenant that this year he wasn’t going to just go talk to him [if there was a problem]. This year he will call the police,” reported Daniels.
The next weekend on Saturday, June 27, Pintauro lived up to his word and phoned the police some time after midnight to file a formal noise complaint. Village mayor Laura Nolan reported that she had spoken with an officer out of Southampton Town Police as to what possible repercussions could be brought against the tenant. Nolan said that if three or more neighbors signed an affidavit of a noise summons, then with each noise complaint the tenant could be slapped with a fine as high as $1,000 per incident. The members of the board and Daniels agreed to speak with Tohill about finding a legal means to calming the situation.
“I think we have to do some research,” added Daniels.