Sagaponack Village officials are plugging away on requests to hold parties, due to their recent adoption of a local law pertaining to outdoor assembly permits, and are planning some changes to help the process move along faster.
At their regular board meeting on Tuesday, Sagaponack trustee Joy Sieger voiced her concerns about the way the process for obtaining an outdoor assembly permit is presently done.
Currently, the village asks for a letter of intent to hold an outdoor bash six months in advance with an application to be filled out four months in advance.
Sieger acknowledged that the village made a conscious effort to deal with outdoor events last year by adding the new local law, but now that the law has been enacted, officials have noticed missing information in the dozen or so letters of intent they have already received. Those questions surrounded issues dealing with parking, number of attendees — and for charitable affairs —Â the percentage that will go to the beneficiary.
Sieger said that she and village clerk Rhodi Winchell would like to suggest altering the law so that the village would require an application and a required letter of intent submitted together — both six months prior.
That way, the village would be able to get a better picture of the proposed event.
“We believe that by just submitting the application form along with the letter of intent would give us more information and we wouldn’t have to do all this waiting around,” Sieger said.
The trustees seemed to all agree that was a good idea, but trustee Alfred Kelmann said he wants to know precisely, “what proceeds are going to the local charities,” when dealing with benefits.
“We need to get to the heart of this thing,” he said, asking that parties not be run “as a business but as a local event.”
For now, Mayor Don Louchheim said the letters of intent would not be approvedÂ until the full application is filled out.
As the trustees went over a few pending letters of intent for summer 2009, they discussed which of the events are “rooted locally.”
“That is a distinction we need to make,” Deputy Mayor Lee Foster said.
“We have the right to say no, without any explanation,” argued Kelmann, “we are extending ourselves by even creating a policy.”
Audience member and Group for the East End’s Director of Development, Judy Christrup, then offered some advice.
“Can I make a suggestion,” she asked, “you could ask them what their numbers were last year, and if they’ve never had it before, they could give you a projection. It costs a lot of money to put on an outdoor event here, so you have to have some high contributors to actually make a profit,” she continued.
“Well, it costs a lot of money to stage a truly non-profit event and they may raise nothing. They could spend $5000 and bring in $250 bucks,” Kelmann said.
After going over some other letters of intent and closing that portion of the meeting, Louchheim said, “It’s a learning curve, but we are getting somewhere here.”
The New Village Hall
By the end of the week, the new village hall in Sagaponack is expected to be near completion, according to the mayor. He said the village is “right on target” with their February 28, deadline.Â
There were some minor repairs being done since the village bought the property at 3175 Montauk highway in October. The sole remaining component would be the excavation of the parking lot, which will be completed by the end of March or beginning of April, when paving plants in the area re-open.
Louchheim also said there is an old sewer line at the new location, measuring 12 feet that may be replaced.
The village plans to move into the new hall in a month and half, if there are no other major problems.