Tag Archive | "southampton town board"

Southampton Town Board to Demolish Dilapidated House in Bridgehampton

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The house at 54 Sawasett Avenue in Bridgehampton will be demolished in the next few weeks. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

The Southampton Town Board agreed to demolish a dangerous and dilapidated house on Sawasett Avenue in Bridgehampton on Tuesday.

“We’ve watched a steady decay of this house since 2000,” explained Chief Fire Marshal Cheryl Kraft at a town board meeting on Tuesday, May 12. The house is located at 54 Sawasett Avenue, about a block from the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike.

According to Ms. Kraft, the house has not been occupied for at least 20 years. In 2000, the fire marshal’s office became aware of the building, and would do spot check from time to time, she said.

Then in 2007, the town authorized the house to be boarded up and four years later it ordered the removal of a front porch. A town fire inspector checked the property again on March 17, spurring this week’s hearing.

“At this point, the house has deteriorated beyond being salvageable,” Ms. Kraft said in a phone conversation on Tuesday.

“It’s not something we take lightly, but it’s at the point where the structure just isn’t safe,” she added, saying that she had been in contact with the homeowner, who had not managed to get a demolition permit.

For many years, Ms. Kraft explained, the owner of the house was a woman who this year died at the age of 102. “She had childhood memories here and always thought she’d be able to come out here again, I think that colored the picture for her son,” she said.

The son, now in his 80s, has not visited the property for years, either.

“He is kind of living her dream,” Ms. Kraft said. “I don’t think he understands the state of disrepair the house has fallen into.”

Right now, the roof is pressing the windows outward, Ms. Kraft explained. The second floor has almost completely collapsed, except for a portion which is currently suspended in mid-air, held up by a mess of electrical wires. The electricity was cut off in 2011, so fears of a fire are not an issue. The floor is rotting out, the fire marshal even said that it was “turning to dust.”

Ms. Kraft said she did not know how old the house is, but the she said the fact that it was built without central plumping indicates that it quite old. Still, she said, the house is beyond salvageable, and nothing would be achieved by giving it historic landmark status. The venting actually went straight up to the attic, which the fire marshal believes could have contributed to the house rotting from the inside out.

Although boarded up eight years ago, the house has man-made entryways, and there are often nearby signs of activity, such as an old shopping cart and water bottles, Ms. Kraft said.

And the homeowners have been paying taxes on the property all along, without setting eyes on it for at least two decades. “That’s the other thing,” she said, “He really cannot believe the economic conditions have changed that much in Bridgehampton.”

Ms. Kraft said she has tried to explain that someone on the East End would pay good money for an empty lot in Bridgehampton, but the homeowner simply does not buy it. “He’s not living in the same world we are,” she said, adding that he has all his faculties, but has been maintaining in his mind the idea of a long-gone Bridgehampton.

The house will be demolished within the next few weeks, Ms. Kraft said, after a bid and a purchase order are submitted. A tax lien will be placed against the property for the cost of the demolition, she explained.

“It’s sad,” she said.

Southampton Town Names First Female Lieutenant

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By Mara Certic

Just over a month after filing a sexual discrimination suit against Southampton Town, Susan Ralph became the town’s first-ever female police lieutenant when she was promoted from sergeant by the town board during a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, March 24.

Three new officers were also sworn in, and two officers and one other sergeant were promoted.

“Today is a happy day. We are promoting and also recognizing some of our new police officers,” said Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

Southampton Town Police Chief Robert Pearce spoke about each of the new officers and those members of the force awaiting promotion and added that there are now two new officers in the police department. “After several years of cutbacks we are certainly moving in the right direction,” he said.

Chief Pearce commended Sgt. Ralph, whose promotion goes into effect next month, for her years of service, noting her impressive work when she was part of the street crime unit and her participation in the community outreach program.

Just last month Sgt. Ralph filed a federal suit in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, charging that her efforts to advance her career have been stymied since she joined the department in the mid-1990s. The suit claims that she had been passed over for promotions time and time again during and even prior to her 13 years working fulltime on the force.

On Wednesday, March 25, Sgt. Ralph would not comment on the suit, which stated that she had been alienated and ostracized over the years despite Supervisor Throne-Holst’s promises that she would be promoted. Her attorney, Peter Farmighetti, did not return a request for comment by this edition’s deadline.

David Banks, Jonathan Parsons and Christopher Manzello were all sworn in as new officers, and Frederick Boese and Joseph D’Arce were both promoted from officers to sergeants. Todd Spencer, who has been with the department for 15 years, was also promoted to lieutenant.

Councilwoman Bridget Fleming congratulated all of the members of the department, but particularly, she said, Sgt. Ralph, for becoming the first-ever female lieutenant in the town of Southampton.

“We’re very fortunate that one of the candidates that rose to the top this year is a woman. And that we’re appointing our very first female lieutenant in the Southampton Town Police Department today and we wish you all the best and congratulations to everybody,” Ms. Fleming said.

Following the show from Southampton’s finest, the board presented the Bridgehampton School’s boys varsity basketball team with a proclamation, congratulating and thanking it for its hard work, which culminated in a state championship last Saturday in Glen’s Falls.

Each member of the town board read aloud part of the proclamation, which discussed the achievements of this year’s Killer Bees, and those from decades past.

“And here you are one generation later,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “We congratulate you, we thank you and we’re all very, very proud of you.”

In other action, the board adjourned three public hearings on new traffic control measures proposed for the area around Cromer’s Market in Noyac.

Tom Neely, the town’s director of public transportation and traffic safety, explained that the measures include the installation of a stop sign on Cedar Lane at its intersection with Noyac Road; prohibiting left-hand turns from Bay Avenue; and prohibiting parking on a 150-foot stretch of Bay Avenue. The town agreed to adjourn the public hearing until Tuesday, April 28, in order to give the Noyac Civic Council an opportunity to discuss and weigh in on the project at its Tuesday, April 15, meeting.

The board also adjourned a public hearing about a planned development district (PDD) in Water Mill, which would create 48 affordable housing units on a site just east of the Water Mill Shoppes retail center on Montauk Highway. The applicant requested more time and the hearing was rescheduled for the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, May 12.

 

 

 

Three Southampton Town Board Members Renounce 2015 Salary Hikes

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By Mara Certic

Three of the five members of the Southampton Town Board have rejected their 2015 wage increases, requesting instead that the dollar amount of their 3-percent raises be returned to town funds.

At last week’s organizational meeting, when discussing a resolution to accept salary schedules for the five members of the Southampton Town Board, Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka asked to forego their $2,000 salary hike.

The salaries for the four members were slated to increase from $60,000 to $62,000 in the 2015 budget, which Ms. Scalera objected to during budget talks late last year. Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst’s salary was raised from $102,000 to $104,040.

Last week, Councilwoman Bridget Fleming asked that the resolution be tabled in order to give her more time to consider the implications of the decision. Her fellow board members seemed reluctant to do so but eventually the discussion was postponed until Tuesday, January 13.

At Tuesday’s meeting Ms. Fleming thanked the board for giving her time to consider the amendment, and said that after speaking with her family, she too had decided to do without this year’s wage increase.

However, unlike her Republican colleagues, who requested their money be returned to the general fund, Ms. Fleming, a Democrat, asked that $1,000 go toward Farm Fresh Farmers Market in Flanders, and that the remaining money go to the Water Quality Protection Cost Center.

Mr. Bender said last week he would be keeping his full salary because his position as councilman is his only job and source of income. He added that he had no objection to his co-workers’ request. Supervisor Throne-Holst also said she understood the implications of the decision, and that she would vote in favor of the amendment.

After Ms. Fleming offered her amendment, the resolution establishing salary schedules for the town board passed unanimously.

In other action, the town board adjourned a public hearing to discuss possible amendments to the Special Exception Uses permit, in order to create stricter standards for retail businesses between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet.

This amendment came to the forefront in the fall, seemingly in response to controversial plans for a 9,030-square-foot CVS on a busy intersection on Bridgehampton’s Main Street.  It aims to create specific standards and safeguards for large stores, in an effort to tighten the zoning code.

At the first public hearing about the amendment in September, members of the Bridgehampton Citizen Advisory Committee, who have been fighting the CVS tooth and nail for months, spoke in favor of it.

At the same hearing, local attorneys representing CVS and BNB Ventures IV, the owner of the property, called the amendment “illegal” and unethical.

Ms. Scalera asked that the hearing be adjourned until the board’s first meeting next month, on Tuesday, February 10, to allow it more time to work on the law with the planning department, adding that the process has been more challenging than anticipated.

 

 

 

 

Fight to Stop CVS Rages on in Bridgehampton

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By Mara Certic

Although contractors began clearing the proposed site for a CVS Pharmacy in Bridgehampton last week, Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee members donning anti-CVS pins on Monday seemed encouraged by the possibility an alternate site could be found for the store.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst asked to attend the CAC’s monthly meeting on Monday, September 22, in order to discuss some ideas around with residents of the hamlet, she said.

“There are a couple of facts I wanted to make sure to clarify,” Ms. Throne-Holst began on Monday. “We have gotten all of your emails, petitioning us to hold a public hearing,” she said. “We’ve done our best to explain, there is no legal vehicle for us to do that.”

Members of the CAC and the offshoot organization Save Bridgehampton Main Street have been writing to local officials asking them to hold public hearings about a proposed CVS on Bridgehampton’s busiest intersection.

Ms. Throne-Holst explained there is a “separation between church and state” when it comes to the town and its various appointed boards. “That doesn’t mean we don’t take this very seriously,” she added.

The decision to allow or deny CVS to open a store on a busy intersection in Bridgehampton, she repeated, lies solely in the hands of the planning board. “They have to be able to show by the letter of the law why they made the decision,” she said on Monday.

Former town planning director Jeff Murphree reiterated this and reminded the CAC members “the planning board has to focus its decision on facts.” Ms. Throne-Holst explained the appointed boards operate within certain classifications and parameters set by the state.

But what the town can do, she added, is tighten, add and subtract the parameters within that code. The town board held a hearing on Tuesday, September 23, about adding specific special exception permit standards for uses in excess of 5,000 square feet and less than 15,000 square feet.

Quite conveniently, at 9,030 square feet, the proposed CVS would be subject to the additional standards. “This is one that has been in the works for some time,” she said of the legislation.

Lawyers representing BNB Ventures IV and CVS Caremark spoke at the Tuesday’s public hearing opposing the legislation as written. John Bennett, who represents CVS, said this was “an illegal exercise of your powers as town board.”

He mentioned a court ruling from another, similar case, and said, “this administrative procrastination calculated to deny a property owner his right to use his land is supportable neither by law or by ethical practice.”

“I’ll ask you to have more character, more backbone and obey the law,” he told the board on Tuesday.

Wayne Bruyn, who represents BNB Ventures IV said, ““When I looked at this law I was in shock.”

Ms. Throne-Holst reiterated the amendment is a “part of that string of looking and relooking and improving on some of our land use codes.” The supervisor said the town was going to make amendments to the law and would keep the hearing open until the October 14 meeting.

On Monday Ms. Throne-Holst also discussed another planning opportunity she wanted to float by the most concerned Bridgehamptonites. The Konner Development, a 13-acre piece of land across the street from the Bridgehampton Commons, is currently zoned as a highway business, she explained, which restricts possible land uses.

There has, she said, been a lot of work already to have the property designated a Planned Development District or PDD. Ms. Throne-Holst explained the town board oversees PDDs, unlike other matters of planning. The PDD designation would allow the town to require the lots have certain buffering, vegetation, appropriate aesthetics and so on and added there is “A lot of community input to this process.”

“I’d like to think a little out of the box here,” she said. “What could we do that may serve this community in light of some of the activity that’s going on here at the moment?” she asked the group.

Within moments, one member of the group suggested it could be the new home for CVS. Ms. Throne-Holst, who wanted it to be known that the public had brought up this suggestion, told the CAC members she had spoken to Ms. Konner and referred to her as “a willing developer.”

“Because the decision lies with the town board it gives us opportunity for a lot of give and take,” she said.

If the site became a PDD, she said, it would have to have some sort of public benefit to the town. “We have an opportunity here to look at part of this town, part of this hamlet, that warrants a good hard look,” she said.

Leonard Davenport, member of the CAC, said he would draft a resolution that would throw the CAC’s “qualified support” behind the effort to create a PDD at the site. “This is good planning, this is what planning’s really about,” Peter Wilson told Ms. Throne-Holst.

“The PDD is a big potential development,” Mr. Davenport said after the meeting.

The CVS application will be discussed at the planning board meeting on Thursday, October 9.

 

Southampton Town Board To Add New Conditions to Special Exception Permits

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By Mara Certic

The Southampton Town Board is expected to add new standards, safeguards and conditions for retail businesses over 5,000 square feet that apply for special exception permits from the town Planning Board.

The news comes following highly controversial plans to build a 9,030-square-foot CVS pharmacy on the busy corner of Montauk Highway and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. On July 28 of this year, BNB Ventures IV and CVS Caremark applied for a special exception permit from the planning board to open the two-story pharmacy on the lot previously occupied by a small beer distributor.

The proposal has caused distress for members of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee and other residents, who have created an offshoot organization Save Bridgehampton Main Street, hired lawyers, done a traffic study and even held three protests and counting.

Those opposed not only fear that a CVS would negatively affect traffic on an already dangerous intersection, but worry that the pharmacy giant would detract from the rural charm of Bridgehampton’s village business district.

“We all know that one of our key assets is the character of our downtowns,” said Town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins at a town board work session on Thursday, September 4.

He explained the prior town board adopted a special permit exception for uses in the village business district between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet but added, “the code does not provide for safeguards or conditions with that kind of special exception law.”

He explained special permit exceptions exist in the town code for certain land uses such as horse farms and marinas. “A lot of them are things that would be looked at through SEQRA,” or the State Environmental Quality Review Act, he said.

Although the general standards refer to things like traffic impacts, he said, the proposed new standards would require a traffic impact analysis as well. “Traffic is a key issue within all our business districts,” he said. Certain parking characteristics will be taken into account too, he added. The proposed 9,030-square-foot building, complete with basement and elevator, will have 10 parking spots for employees and clients, according to plans.

Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera said the special standards also include taking a deeper look at the surrounding local retail community and also will require a local market analysis. These safeguards would be put in place in order to protect existing businesses in the village business districts.

The town board scheduled a public hearing about the proposed new standards for Tuesday, September 23, at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Scalera said on Tuesday if the public hearing does not attract a huge crowd, “we’d put it on for the next meeting for adoption.”  After that point she said it typically would take two or three weeks for the law to be formally adopted and put on the books.

CVS opponents have said the pharmacy’s attorneys seem to be looking for a swift and speedy approval process, but if adopted by the board soon, the new standards could realistically slow them down.

North Haven Weighs in on Airport

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In a brief meeting that took all of six minutes, the North Haven Village Board on Tuesday, August 26, added its voice to the growing chorus objecting to the noise of helicopters and jets using East Hampton Airport.

The last-minute meeting was held just a day before a scheduled special hearing before the East Hampton Town Board for residents of all five East End towns to air their grievances about the airport.

The resolution, approved by unanimously by the board members present, had a four-pronged request: That the airport decline further Federal Aviation Administration funding; that it adopt a comprehensive aircraft noise limitation policy to begin as soon as its obligations under FAA grants expire on December 31; that the town board provide the Village of North Haven 60 days notice of any future change in airport policy and that the board include members of the North Haven Village Board in work groups, discussions and meetings on the airport.

The measure came after the Southampton Town Board unanimously adopted an almost identical resolution on Thursday, August 14. “I hope other village boards make this decision,” said the newest member of the North Haven Village Trustees, Thomas J. Schiavoni.

Southampton Town Helps Keep Farmers Farming

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Elected officials and local farmers celebrated the protection of 33 acres of farmland in Water Mill on Tuesday. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

In one afternoon on the East End, you can visit rolling estates, beachfront shacks, or thousands of acres of working farms.  Preserving that farmland has been no small feat, but thanks to the work of the Peconic Land Trust, Southampton Town has established a precedent that might make farming easier throughout the state.

The Southampton Town Board voted unanimously in May to impose additional developmental restrictions onto agricultural land that would ensure that it remained productive and affordable, and on Tuesday, local and state elected officials, farmers and conservationists gathered to celebrate this latest success.

“This is farmland preservation 2.0.,” said New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., at a Tuesday morning press conference in Water Mill, where officials gathered to celebrate the purchase of 33 acres from the estate of Charlotte Danilevsky.  “And more than farmland preservation, this is farming preservation,” he said.

For the past few decades, as real estate prices have continued to rise, local farmers and conservationists have struggled to find ways to keep the farms working and in the hands of farmers.

In the 1970s, the town started buying the developmental rights on farmland, which prohibited future owners from building on the land. It did not, however, stop developers from turning the acreage into vast lawns or horse paddocks.

“We were preserving land, but that land was ending up being the front yard or the rear yard of an estate. Or ending up as a horse farm, or for horticulture,” Mr. Thiele continued.

The Peconic Land Trust purchased the Water Mill farmland, on Head of Pond Road, earlier this year for just over $12 million. According to John v.H. Halsey, president of the land trust, if the town had purchased the standard development rights for the parcel of land, it still would have cost a potential buyer approximately $120,000 an acre.

“It is abundantly clear, especially on the South Fork, where we have an overheated real estate market, that this farmland that has been protected can trade for between $100,000 to $200,000 an acre and that really puts it out of reach, particularly of our food production farmers,” Mr. Halsey said.

With the help of the Southampton Town Agricultural Advisory Committee, chaired by Southampton farmer John L. Halsey, the land trust was able to propose some additional restrictions on the land that were unanimously approved by the town board on May 27. The sale went through on July 10.

“This project represents a milestone in the evolution of the purchase of development rights program,” Mr. Halsey said on Tuesday. “And that is that the Town of Southampton has not only purchased standard development rights that have been in place for nearly 40 years, but has enhanced restrictions that will ensure that this farm, this 33 acres, will be available to farmers at its agricultural value—its true agricultural value.”

Mr. Halsey said the land trust would now solicit proposals from qualified farmers who are interested in purchasing the land. According to Mr. Halsey, the land will now be available at approximately $26,000 an acre. Restrictions will ensure that 80 percent of it be used for food production, that it cannot be used for equestrian use, and certain resale restrictions allow the land trust to lease the land out to farmers if it remains fallow for more than two years.

Tim Davis of Corcoran real estate agreed to reduce his commission by 50 percent on the sale, which allowed the land trust to compete in the sealed bid process to purchase the land, according to Mr. Halsey. “I am honored to have played a critical role in the process of the Peconic Land Trust acquiring the Danilevsky parcels,” Mr. Davis said in a press release issued on Tuesday.

“Our goal is to make sure each farm is producing food for the people of our state and our country,” said Senator Kenneth P. LaValle on Tuesday morning. Mr. Thiele announced during Tuesday’s press conference that he and the senator had been working on legislation that would provide additional property tax benefits to landowners with similar restrictions on their farms. Mr. Thiele also announced that they have been working to increase the exemption on estate taxes, which can often force farm owners to sell their land.

“One of the things I’ve learned as county executive is that there are so many Halseys around here, I run into them all the time,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone joked on Tuesday morning.

Tom Halsey, John L. Halsey’s brother, was also at the event on Tuesday with his son Adam and grandson, Eben. Tom Halsey was instrumental in the introduction of the purchase of development rights in the 1970s.

“Please, I urge everybody here to stand here and look there,” he said, pointing toward acres of open fields adjacent to the property. “And then imagine what it would be if we had not had 40 years of preservation.”

 

 

 

Still No Decision on Bridge

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The Southampton Town Board on Tuesday again tabled a resolution allowing it to sign a contract with the state Department of Transportation to obtain a $500,000 federal grant to refurbish the Bridge Lane bridge that connects Sagaponack and Bridgehampton.

Work on the project has been put on hold for months because residents have opposed plans to modernize the structure, specifically plans for new guardrails and the removal of curbing along the pedestrian walkway.

The Village of Sagaponack even offered to reimburse the town for the grant money if it would proceed with a design that is more in keeping with its residents’ wishes, but Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor has refused to change the design, saying alternatives would not meet safety standards.

Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender had planned, at Mr. Gregor’s request, to bring the resolution up for a vote on Tuesday, but was forced to ask the board to put it off for another month, until its August 26 meeting.

“We’re still at an impasse,” he said before Tuesday’s meeting.

Helicopter Noise at an Unbearable All-Time High, According to Sag Harbor CAC

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By Mara Certic

Helicopter noise dominated the discussion at the Sag Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee meeting last week.

Southampton Town Councilwomen Bridget Fleming and Christine Scalera attracted a small crowd of non-members to the CAC’s monthly meeting on Friday, July 18, in the Pierson High School Library.

Susan Baran, a member of the CAC, announced as she briskly walked into the meeting: “This is the worst day ever.” The helicopter noise over by Long Pond had started at 6 a.m. that morning and hadn’t stopped all day, she said. Those in the room agreed with Ms. Barren that it was “the worst it had ever been.”

Rosemary Caruso added that the “all-white helicopters are the worst,” and that she and her husband see them all the time from their North Haven home.

Bob Malafronte and Barry Holden explained the current situation with helicopter routes and answered questions. Both men are members of the CAC and are the only two Southampton representatives on East Hampton Town’s helicopter noise abatement committee. Mr. Malafronte explained that East Hampton has two airport advisory committees. One of the committees is made up of helicopter and airplane proponents, he said, and is “misleading at best.” The other committee that both Mr. Malafronte and Mr. Holden sit on and which is composed of those concerned with noise issues speaks “nothing but facts and the truth,” he said.

The current problem is exacerbated by the total lack of restrictions at the airport, Mr. Malafronte said. Pilots do not follow the designated routes, he said, adding that 83 percent of the helicopters that flew in and out of East Hampton Airport over July Fourth weekend did not comply with the altitude restrictions.

The two men said that they are in the minority on the committee. “We had to force our way on,” said Mr. Malafronte. He even suggested that airport manager Jim Brundige was “targeting” Southampton Town residents. “This man Brundige has to go,” he said.

Councilwoman Scalera interjected to tell the members of the CAC that they were “very, very, very well represented” by their two Southampton reps. “Without you behind us,” Mr. Malafronte said to her, “we’d be nowhere.”

Mr. Holden said that the new East Hampton Town Board does actually seem to want to solve the problem caused by helicopter noise, unlike the previous administration. He mentioned that East Hampton Town Board member Kathee Burke-Gonzalez sits on both airport advisory committees, and Councilwoman Scalera sits on the noise abatement committee, too.

Recently, the men said, the committees have been working on letter-writing campaigns. They emphasized the importance of documenting complaints about helicopter and aircraft noise, by calling the complaint hotline or writing letters to the editor in local papers.

Their new focus, however, “is to go after the FAA not just to ask for changes but to start demanding answers.” Mr. Malafronte said. “We’re going to focus on Huerta, the man has to produce answers.”

Michael Huerta is the administrator of the FAA, who Mr. Malafronte says “has been hiding.” Mr. Malafronte’s new tactic, he said, is to go after Mr. Huerta “more aggressively.”

A meeting with Congressman Tim Bishop scheduled to take place on August 12 is the next big step, he said. The committee members hope to have at least a representative from the FAA, if not Mr. Huerta himself, present to answer questions.

The meeting will take place at the Bridgehampton Nutrition Center  at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12.

To register an airport noise complaint call 1-800-376-4817 or visit planenoise.com/khto/

Issues of dumping on Town Line Road continue to trouble members of the Sag Harbor CAC. Several members discussed the problems, mentioning that tires and have piled up and that some people have even gone as far as to dump their mattresses there. “They go out of their way to dump there,” said CAC member Steve Schuman.

“What’s the solution, besides setting up snipers in the woods?” asked CAC member Judah Mahay. He suggested that the CAC look into the feasibility of setting up security cameras, or even looking into getting police to do surveillance at the site once a month.

“If you report it to the public, this could be enough to mitigate it,” he said.

 

Southampton Considers Trails Map

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The Southampton Town Board last Thursday after meeting with Ross Baldwin, the director of its Geographic Information Services, and members of the Southampton Trails Preservation Party, agreed to support a pilot program to print maps of publicly owned trails in the town.

“We have spent so many millions of dollars preserving these trails, it’s a way of highlighting them,” said Councilwoman Bridget Fleming.

“If we had 100, they would go like hotcakes,” said Howard Reisman of the trails society. “We do get a lot of demand.”

The board debated whether it should try to find a contractor to print the maps or do them in house. Councilman Stan Glinka suggested that the trails society might want to work with local chambers of commerce to sponsor the maps and pledged to work with the group to find a way to print a small number of the maps.

Glorian Berk, the president of the trails society, asked the board to handle the distribution “because the trails society is not really a business.”

The maps would be sold at the town clerk’s office and the town Parks Department. A price was not set.