Tag Archive | "Southampton Town"

UPDATE: Town Declares State of Emergency; Nine Inches of Snowfall on the East End

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A backyard pool in East Hampton Friday morning.

A backyard pool in East Hampton Friday morning. (Tessa Raebeck photo).

By Tessa Raebeck

UPDATE Friday 11 a.m. 

Nine inches of snow fell in Bridgehampton overnight, according to Joey Picca of the National Weather Service. Light snow is ongoing and over the next hour, locations on the East End could see another half inch of snow.

“For the most part,” said Picca, “intensity is winding down and we expect that trend to continue for the next hour or so.”

Winds coming from the north and northwest remain strong and gusty, and the already fallen powder will continue to be blown around throughout the day. The wind chill is expected to remain at anywhere from 0 to -5 degrees throughout the afternoon.

The Town of Southampton has issued a blizzard warning, effective until 1 p.m. Friday.

The South Shore of Suffolk County is under coastal flood advisory Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight. The northwest region of Suffolk County has been issued a coastal flood warning, from 9 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday.

All town offices in Southampton and East Hampton are closed Friday due to inclement weather. Many businesses in Sag Harbor and throughout the towns remain closed.

East Hampton Town is still urging residents to stay off the roads and has prohibited parking along public roadways. Any parked vehicles may be towed. Emergencies should be reported via 911 and storm-related non-emergency calls may be directed to 907-9743 or 907-9796.

A man walks down Main Street in Sag Harbor Thursday afternoon.

A man walks down Main Street in Sag Harbor Thursday afternoon. (Tessa Raebeck photo).

 

UPDATE Thursday 6 p.m.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell has declared a State of Emergency, effective 4 p.m. Thursday.

The town is urging residents to refrain from driving during the storm and has prohibited all parking along public roadways. Parked vehicles may be towed.

The LIE (Long Island Expressway) and other major roads will also be closing at midnight due to hazardous conditions, Governor Cuomo announced Thursday.

Southampton Town has declared a limited state of snow emergency, effective at 3 p.m. Thursday. All town facilities and government offices will be closed starting at 6 p.m. and remain closed on Friday, January 3.

The Sag Harbor School District has closed all buildings and cancelled all sports and other activities for Friday, January 3 due to the weather.

All East Hampton Town Senior Citizen programs at the Fireplace Road Facility and the Montauk Playhouse scheduled for Friday have been cancelled.

For non-emergency police calls related to the storm in East Hampton Town, contact 907-9743 or 907-9796.

 

Original Story

A blizzard warning has been issued for Suffolk County starting at 6 p.m. this evening and ending at 1 p.m. Friday. The East End can expect to see up to 10 inches of snowfall, according to Tim Morrin of the National Weather Service’s Upton, New York forecast office.

Most of the snowfall will occur tonight after 7 p.m., Morrin said. A steady, heavy snowfall is expected to start this evening and continue overnight and into tomorrow morning, with a total of eight to 10 inches of snow accumulating.

By Friday at noon, the snow “should be nothing more than a flurry,” Morrin said.

Following the blizzard, the National Weather Service expects the weather Friday to be extremely windy and “dangerously cold,” with the wind chill temperature dropping below zero.

Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts of up to 45 mph are forecast.

On the roads, East End residents can expect “rapidly deteriorating conditions tonight and into tomorrow morning,” according to Morrin.

Road conditions will remain hazardous tomorrow afternoon, as the windy conditions will likely blow additional snow into the road and add density to the already fallen snow.

Although Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to shut down the Long Island Expressway or any other major highways, his New York City Press Office said the governor is projecting road closures.

“Blowing, drifting snow can make travel difficult and dangerous,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release issued Wednesday, “so I encourage citizens to exercise caution if they have to leave their homes.”

“We recommend,” he added, “that everyone in potentially affected areas utilize mass transit and take steps to safeguard against frigid temperatures. Keep a close eye on the weather, follow any instructions issued by local emergency officials, and check on your neighbors and family members.”

The Suffolk County Department of Public Works has been salting all county roads since early this morning and will continue to monitor and respond to conditions.

The Emergency Operations Centers for both New York State and Suffolk County are open.

All storm-related non-emergency police calls in Suffolk County can be directed to 852-2677.

The New York State Department of Transportation provides a travel advisory system with frequently updated reports. To access it, dial 511 by phone or visit 511ny.org.

At Sag Harbor CAC Meeting, Four in Attendance Focus on Recruitment

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By Tessa Raebeck

With just four people in attendance, the discussion at Friday’s meeting of the Sag Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) centered on recruitment.

CAC Chairman John Linder was joined by members Susan Baran, Eric Cohen and Bob Malafronte in expressing the need for better visibility and outreach in efforts to enlist new members for the all-volunteer group.

During the 1980s, the Town of Southampton organized ten CACs, volunteer branches of government designed for the town’s hamlet areas, in order to more effectively address localized issues and concerns.

In Bridgehampton, the CAC is a driving force on local policy that has dozens of members. With no elected government in Bridgehampton, the CAC largely operates as the hamlet’s vocal leadership.

Sag Harbor’s CAC, however, has enacted few legislative actions over the past several years and has seen its numbers dwindle. The town’s website lists eight active members of the CAC, but meetings this year have seen only four or five in attendance.

In cards designed by Malafronte to solicit new members, the CAC asks for those who are concerned, caring and committed to the Sag Harbor community to join. The cards outline the CAC’s primary areas of focus as the East Hampton Airport, water quality, pollution of the bays, over development and traffic.

“I would say our history – at least in terms of intention – is legislative,” Linder said at the meeting Friday evening. “We do want to see legislative changes.”

The group discussed bringing town board members Brad Bender and Bridget Fleming to future meetings as guests, in order to both let them know of the group’s goals and to draw in interested attendees.

A goal for the New Year is developing a community email list that would include the members of similar local groups, such as Save Sag Harbor, to expedite communication with like-minded individuals.

The CAC also contemplated visiting Pierson Middle/High School to educate students on the different avenues of government and how such grassroots organizations work.

“I’m always amazed at what people don’t know about that affects their property values,” said Linder. “If people know what outlets they have to participate in their community, they don’t have to participate, but maybe one day they will. Or they’ll tell their friends and neighbors – or somebody.”

“If we could just get two or three [members],” he added, “that would be fine, we don’t need a landslide here.”

The next meeting of the Sag Harbor CAC will be held January 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Pierson Middle/High School library. For information, call 725-6067.

Southampton Town Council Race Still Too Close to Call

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Heller_LWV Supervisor Debate 10-24-13_7624_LR

By Tessa Raebeck

Over a week after the election, the Southampton Town Council race remains too close to call, with 879 absentee ballots left to be counted, officials said Wednesday morning.

According to the office of Suffolk County Board of Elections Commissioner Anita Katz, counting of the absentee ballots is underway and will not be finished until as late as the beginning of next week.

No matter who wins the two open seats, each of the four candidates would be joining the town board for the first time. Stan Glinka, of Hampton Bays, and Jeffrey Mansfield, of Bridgehampton, ran together on the Republican Party line, facing challengers Brad Bender, of Northport, and Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, of Southampton, who ran on the Democratic and Independence party lines.

According to the unofficial results released by the Suffolk County Board of Elections, with 42 of 42 districts reporting on election night last Tuesday, Glinka led the town council race with 5,857 votes, or 25.85 percent of tallied ballots. Bender is in second place, with 5,746 votes, or 25.36 percent.

If the absentee ballots do not significantly alter the results, Bender and Glinka will join the town board come January.

With 5,603 votes, or 24.73 percent, Mansfield trails Bender by just 143 votes. Behind Mansfield by 158 votes, Zappone earned 5,445 votes, or 24.03 percent.

In addition to the town council race, the official outcome of the race for five town trustee positions also hangs in the balance until absentee ballots are counted.

If the results hold, incumbents Bill Pell (8,933 votes), Eric Shultz (8,746 votes) and Ed Warner, Jr. (7,161 votes), members of the Independence, Democrat and Republican parties, respectively, will have secured the top three spots. The remaining two spots would go to Republicans Scott Horowitz (6,399 votes) and Ray Overton (5,436 votes).

Suffolk County: Schneiderman Earns Sixth and Final Term

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Heller_Dems 2013 Campaign Reception 11-5-13_1121_LR-1

Incumbent Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman Celebrates his Victory at a Democratic Party gathering at 230 Elm in Southampton November 5.

By Kathryn G. Menu

Jay Schneiderman has earned a sixth and final term on the Suffolk County Legislature handily defeating his Republican challenger Chris Nuzzi during Tuesday night’s election.

Schneiderman — an Independence Party member running with the support of the Democratic and Working Families parties — earned 11,329 votes or 60.34 percent of ballots cast, according to unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections (BOE). Nuzzi — a Southampton Town Councilman running with the support of both the Republican and Conservative parties — earned 7,444 ballots or 39.64 percent of the vote.

With absentee ballots, and the results of three election districts not yet reported, Nuzzi conceded the race to Schneiderman in a phone call just after 11 p.m. on Tuesday night.

“I want to congratulate Jay, a long serving elected official,” said Nuzzi Wednesday morning. “It is not an easy thing to do and despite our disagreements on the campaign trail I respect his win.”

“I want to reiterate my thanks to Southampton residents, in particular, for all the support they have shown me in my two terms on the Southampton Town Board,” added Nuzzi, who will step down from that board due to term limits in January. “I value that experience more than anyone knows.”

“To the residents of the second legislative district, of course, I was in this to win it — we all are,” said Nuzzi. “But it is bigger than just the election. You can make a point and force conversations about important issues regardless of the election outcome.”

As to whether or not he would seek another run for public service, Nuzzi said it was simply too early to speculate on his political future.

“It takes an awful lot of any person, and their families for that matter, to put themselves through the election process,” he said. “Right now I would be purely speculating and it would be premature. At the same time, I love public service, I love serving in office and I would certainly consider public service in the future.”

On Wednesday, Schneiderman said he was pleased with the outcome, and in particular was satisfied with the large margin of approval given he was running on his record of service.

“The race is over,” he said. “Chris called and conceded last night and we had a very nice conversation. I credited him on a well-run race. I think he was a formidable opponent.”

Schneiderman added he was pleased to have the opportunity to work with incumbent Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who appears to have secured a third term, as well as Larry Cantwell, the Democrat-elect to the town supervisor’s seat in East Hampton.

“I want to assist the towns in tackling regional issues in any way I can,” said Schneiderman who added he plans to hit the ground running on issues like tick borne illness abatement.

Schneiderman recently passed legislation requiring the county to develop a comprehensive plan to address tick abatement and tick borne illnesses through its division of vector control.

“Over the last few weeks, so many people have reached out to me that I believe it is a more prevalent issue than I initially believed it to be,” he said. “That will be a central issue I focus on, and in particular having the county step up to secure resources from state and federal officials to bring attention to this health epidemic we are facing on the East End.”

Revitalizing the Riverside area in Southampton, and looking at water quality issues are also at the top of Schneiderman’s agenda, he said.

“I don’t know exactly what the next two years will hold,” he said. “I know the next big fight will be who will be the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature. I am interested. Whether that comes to pass, we will see, but I am a senior member of the majority, so it is possible despite the power center of the legislature being in western Suffolk.”

Southampton Town to Host Great East End Clean-up

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Southampton Town will host its annual Great East End Clean-up, April 20 and 21, encouraging residents to volunteer their time to remove litter from public roadways, parks, beaches and trails. Volunteers can select the public property they wish to clean up when they register at www.southamptontownny.gov.

Southampton Town will provide garbage bags, pick sticks and a free pass to the town recycling centers to dispose of the refuse for all volunteers. Supplies can be picked up by April 19 at the North Sea Transfer Station office between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. or the Citizens’ Response Center between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Southampton Town Hall.

The Noyac Civic Council is planning to participate with a clean up of Noyac Road on Saturday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The NCC will meet at 9 a.m. at Trout Pond and volunteers will disperse from there. Small groups will work on sections of Noyac Road and Trout Pond from Whalebone Landing to the traffic circle at Long Beach. To sign up with the NCC, call 725-3304.

Southampton Town Eyes Hamlet to Hamlet Trail System

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web Trails

By Bryan Boyhan

Much like the ancient trails that connect villages and places of interest throughout England and Wales, the Southampton Town Trails Preservation Society is proposing a collection of paths that will link the various villages and hamlets throughout the town. The first will connect Sag Harbor with Bridgehampton.

“We have all the elements, ponds and the glacial moraine; historic towns and villages,” said Tony Garro, a member of the society’s Hamlet-to-Hamlet Committee, which received approval from the Southampton Town Board last week to move ahead with the project.

Garro said he was inspired to promote the idea here by a trip he took to Britain several years ago. In both England and Wales there is a vast network of trails, many hundreds of years old, that crisscross the countries, often crossing over private lands. While there are few — if any  — trails in Southampton Town that cross private property, the network of trails that already exist, and those proposed, cross over lands preserved by the town or Suffolk County, and in some cases, the Nature Conservancy.

It is one of the major differences between the trails system here and in England – very few of the trails in the UK are on land preserved by the government.

“Here, public trails on private property don’t mix,” acknowledged Garro. In England the attitude is very different.

“We met no hostility or resentment hiking across farms or yards,” said Garro of his time in England. If there was a gate in a fence, he said, “you might see a sign that said ‘please close the gate’.”

In many cases, the trails here that will connect the various hamlets, already exist. In some cases, such as a stretch at the southern end of the proposed trail to Bridgehampton, they do not. Although there is a base for the trail — the old bed of the railroad that once ran between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor — a length of about a mile-and-a-half needs to be cleared and marked.

Local hikers are already familiar with the network of trails that run south of Mashashimuet Park and throughout the Long Pond Greenbelt, and several of these trails will be used in heading south to Bridgehampton. But in keeping with the idea that these trails will link hamlet or village centers, the trail from Sag Harbor to Bridgehampton will likely start somewhere near the village’s Municipal Building on Main Street. The “trail” would then take a traveler south to Mashashimuet Park, where it enters the woods adjacent to the park on the old railroad bed. A kiosk with a map of the trails marks the beginning here just south and west of the playground.

A hiker would continue on to the trail that veers off to the left several hundred yards down — Sprig Tree Path — which walks along the western edge of Long Pond, following the trail until it continues over the LIPA right-of-way then re-joining the old railroad bed as it approaches the turnpike just south of Scuttle Hole Road. Here the hiker will have to cross over the turnpike — approximately where the railroad once crossed over nearly 75 years ago — and walk about 100 yards south before taking a short, yet-to-be-built road that will lead into where the railroad bed continues its route toward Bridgehampton.

This leg of the trail needs some work. While the northern end of the bed has been cleared and hiked for years, the southern portion, which has been on private lands for many years, is largely overgrown. The town recently acquired much of this length of the railroad bed through a concession from a developer who intended to subdivide the acres of vacant land behind the homes on the west side of the turnpike.

The trail here will follow the roadbed, paralleling the turnpike, heading south, behind the Children’s Museum of the East End, then veering off west to intersect with Lumber Lane, where the still active Long Island Railroad crosses on its way to Montauk.

From there, hikers would walk south on Lumber Lane then west on Maple Lane to the trail’s terminus at the Bridgehampton train station, about a quarter mile.

Other trails will connect Sag Harbor to Noyac, following the Paumanok Path west to a side trail that exists to Trout Pond, and from there other trails lead from Trout Pond to Elliston Park in North Sea. Getting from North Sea to Southampton Village will be a challenge, Garro concedes, but he is confident his committee will find a way. More daunting is getting from Southampton through Shinnecock Hills, across the canal to Hampton Bays, since very little public land exists in the area. Elsewhere on the western side of the town there are many opportunities to connect with communities like Flanders, Westhampton and Quogue.

Garro is quick to point out the historic significance of hiking the trail between Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton. As the route the railroad took it is a reminder of the way the village itself evolved. The railroad was extended to Sag Harbor in 1870 as the village was reinventing itself as an industrial hub after the whaling industry collapsed. Both the directors of the LIRR and the village fathers saw it as a great opportunity.

The hamlet-to-hamlet trail system will continue to “evolve,” Garro said.

“I believe it will become part of the Southampton experience, as much as the trail system in England is part of the British experience,” he said.

 

 

Southampton Town Halts Major Traffic Calming Plan for Noyac Road; Looks Towards Smaller Steps

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By Amy Patton

Hoping for a measure by the Southampton Town Board to remove funding previously earmarked for a major traffic calming project on Noyac Road, a group of concerned residents were instead served up a plan of compromise by the Southampton Town Board on Tuesday.

And more than a few in attendance weren’t too happy about it.

The board agreed to what it called a “memorializing” resolution. It would, in part, urge the Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor to consider “phasing in” safety improvements on the busy section of Noyac Road that fronts Cromer’s Market and the Whalebone General Store in the Pine Neck neighborhood in Noyac.

In 2011, Southampton Town’s budget allocated $450,000 in funds for the highway department to direct a complete reconstruction of that section of Noyac Road which abuts the two commercially-zoned properties of the popular store and market. It included a plan to divert traffic onto Bay Avenue and Elm Street, and, in addition, called for the widening of Noyac Road and the installation of a raised center median.

Since the project was initially proposed, many locals have bristled at what they consider an unwanted and drastic solution to the traffic problems, speeding and congestion in the area.

Noyac Civic Council (NCC) member Chuck Neuman, the self-described “president emeritus” of the organization, said he had problems with the board’s “fuzzy logic” regarding traffic remediation.

“We ask you to please stop paying lip service to this and take some action,” said Neuman.

One thing the board and members of the NCC did agree upon is Noyac Road is currently a safety hazard. The subject had councilwoman Bridget Fleming — who lives in Pine Neck — characterizing the stretch as “fatally dangerous” several times during the meeting.

“With this memorializing resolution, we are sending a very clear message to both our highway superintendent and this community,” said Supervisor Throne-Holst.

A “phased-in” approach to the situation, she said, would consider front-line traffic calming measures such as rumble strips, restriping, increased signage and stepped-up police patrolling in the area; without allowing for a complete reconstruction of the roadway.

The supervisor stressed completely removing the town budget money slated for what is titled as the “Noyac Road Realignment Project,” is not the right solution for both the town and the Noyac community.

“By defunding this plan,” Throne-Holst said, “it would take away the ability to have further conversations with the highway department about the matter. That would just ensure that other projects in the area don’t get done.”

She did urge patience to those in attendance at the meeting, adding that the highway department is currently “extremely busy” working to clean up and repair some of the town’s roads, many of which were severely impacted by damage from Superstorm Sandy and last weekend’s blizzard.

Those in the affected community, though, expressed disappointment about what they considered to be a watered-down compromise offered by the board.

The Whalebone’s co-owner Linda Heine also expressed concern about the “breakdown’ in communication between the NCC and the town’s highway department head Gregor.

“I’m hoping that we can all work together on this,” she said. “Everyone is aware of the safety hazards there and we all want change. Change is good. But a change of this magnitude is not good for a community as small as Noyac.”

Throne-Holst and other board members acknowledged that communication needs to be improved between Gregor and the people who will potentially be impacted by any road project in the area.

“[With this resolution], we’re sending a very clear message to our highway superintendent and our community,” said Supervisor Throne-Holst.

But, the supervisor added, “This is as much as we can do today. My hope is that we can come to some understanding on this matter. Your objections, be assured, have been heard loud and clear.”

Voters Approve $24 Million Beach Renourishment Plan for Sagaponack and Bridgehampton

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Oceanfront property owners in Sagaponack, Bridgehampton and Water Mill approved a referendum on Saturday night that will allow homeowners and the Town of Southampton to spend $24 million to replenish eroded beachfront. A beachfront only made worse by Hurricane Sandy’s impact this October.

According to Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato and Deputy Town Attorney Kathleen Murray between two erosion control districts in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack 75 ballots were cast in favor of the project and 49 against.

Only residents within the two erosion control districts were allowed to vote in the referendum.

According to Jennifer Garvey, with Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst’s office, 202 homeowners were eligible to cast votes in the referendum which will allow voters to pay for the beach renourishment through special taxing districts. One hundred and twenty four residents turned out to cast ballots in the referendum vote Saturday.

The project will encompass six miles of contiguous shoreline, including 141 properties, five of which are beaches owned by Southampton Town. The town will foot $1.5 million of the project to cover the cost of renourishment on its beaches.

“Today’s referendum marks the culmination of two and a half years of collaboration with our ocean front property owners — a group of constituents who first approached the town with an interest in forming a special taxing district in order to jointly pursue more efficient and cost-effective measures for protecting their properties,” said Throne-Holst.

The Southampton Town Board will serve as commissioners of both erosion control districts and will have to issue a $24 million bond to finance the project, which will be repaid by homeowners and the town over a 10-year period.

According to the town, properties within the two districts have an assessed value of $1.8 billion.

The project will entail dredging 2.5 million tons of sand from two areas one-mile offshore and replenishing the beach with that sand. It is expected to start in late spring or early summer, and will take about two months to complete.

“As individual property owners, many of us have been investing tens of thousands of dollars on an annual basis to rebuild our dunes and protect our homes from the impacts of erosion,” said Alan Stillman, a long-time Sagaponack property owner and member of the Sagaponack Beach Erosion Control District Advisory Board. “A systematic solution offers much greater protection and value. That is what we proposed — and have now approved.”

“From the start, we approached this undertaking like a business,” said Jeff Lignelli, a Bridgehampton property owner. “We researched numerous erosion protection measures and costs, and ultimately chose an award-winning coastal expert to design a renourishment project — the option we felt was the best fit for the area because it matches the look and feel of the existing beach, which was critically important to us. When the project is finished, the beaches will basically look like they did 30 years ago — much wider.”

The South Carolina-based firm of Coastal Science and Engineering led by Dr. Tim Kana designed the project.

First Coastal Corporation of Westhampton is the local permitting partner.

“Votes like this are always nerve wracking, but we are just thrilled the residents felt it was important enough to spend their own money on this,” said Aram Terchunian, with First Coastal Corporation, on Tuesday. “This is historic, particularly in the wake of what happened during Hurricane Sandy.”

Terchunian and Garvey said that now the project will move into the permitting phase, which was already pursued while awaiting the results of Saturday’s referendum.

Terchunian said both the New York State Office of Coastal Management and the New York State Office of General Services have already signed off on the project. It still needs approved from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corp of Engineers.

While Terchunian praised homeowners for being willing to take on such a project, he added he believes the state and federal government will need to take a bigger role in beach renourishment in the future.

“These are levels of government getting huge benefits in the form of sales and incomes taxes in the regional and national economy tied to our beaches,” he said. “Beaches produce so much income on so many different levels we need to see they are protected.”

Whether or not this project will benefit from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy remains unclear. Beaches in both Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, having already contended with significant beach erosion, were hammered by the fall storm, whole stretches of beach literally washed away.

“We are pursuing that and the town is pursuing that very aggressively,” said Terchunian.

In fact, after Hurricane Sandy, the town board fast tracked this proposal after seeing the coastline and structural damage caused in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The board voted unanimously to approve the proposal and a referendum on the project on November 27.

“I think this plan would have won the support it needed even before Superstorm Sandy, but what was initially a more proactive project became urgently needed following the storm,” said Throne-Holst. “Fortunately, these property owners were already well into the process of securing the needed support and permissions for their proposal, so it’s likely they’ll have a wide, protective beach within the year.”

“The beaches are a crucial part of our local economy and way of life, and the properties within these BECDs [Beach Erosion Control District] also comprise a major portion of our tax base. I think this is a remarkable public/private partnership that will greatly benefit both the property owners and all of our town residents, and I’m proud to have been a part of making it happen,” she said.

Suffolk County Legislature Unanimously Votes to Adopt New Regulations for Sex Offender Housing, Monitoring

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On Tuesday, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a bill to create what sponsors say will be the strongest sex offender monitoring program in the country. The bill also shuts down two trailers that have housed homeless sex offenders. Both trailers were located in Southampton Town.

The Community Protection Act calls for homeless sex offenders to be placed in one of Suffolk County’s existing shelters and mandates that no more than one offender should be housed in one facility. It also calls for offenders to be kept separate from families in the shelter.

The bill was first introduced at a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Public Safety committee in Hauppauge last Thursday night. At the meeting, the Suffolk County Police Department and Parents for Megan’s Law outlined a plan to end the clustering of homeless sex offenders in any one community.

The announcement came one day after Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman held an East End Community meeting to see public comments on the county’s homeless sex offender trailer program.

A Power Point presentation was made by Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke at Thursday’s meeting.

The new plan for homeless sex offender housing will permanently close trailers in Westhampton and Riverside, which have served as the sole locations for homeless sex offenders to reside since 2006 much to the protest of both Southampton Town officials and residents.

Under the Community Protection Act, Suffolk County will contact with Parents for Megan’s Law at a cost of no more than $900,000 annually. Parents for Megan’s Law will create a system to monitor where sex offenders are residing and develop a system for community members to report if a sex offender is in violation. Community outreach, education and victim services will also be provided by the organization.

Suffolk County Police will also be responsible for address verification and ensuring officers have accurate and detailed information about offenders in their patrol area.

Currently, there are 1,016 sex offenders in Suffolk County, according to a report issued by Legislator Schneiderman this week.

Captain Robert Pearce Named Southampton Town Police Chief

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By Kathryn G. Menu

The Southampton Town Board voted to promote Captain Robert Pearce into the position of Chief of Police of the Southampton Town Police Department at its Tuesday night meeting.

Captain Pearce will be officially sworn into the position on Thursday, December 6.

Captain Pearce was named interim police chief earlier this month in the wake of the resignation of Chief William Wilson, Jr.

Chief Wilson submitted his letter of resignation to the Southampton Town Board after just 18 months in command of the East End’s largest law enforcement agency. He replaced long-time police chief, James Overton, in May of 2011. Wilson had previously served in the Southampton Village Police Department, where he was named chief in 2006.

Wilson’s tenure as chief of the department will come to an official end this Saturday, December 1, although the chief has not been on the job since before Hurricane Sandy hit in late October, impacting much of Long Island including Southampton Town. Wilson was on vacation leave during the “super storm” and after submitting his resignation in early November, the town board announced Wilson would use the remainder of his vacation and sick time between then and December 1.

Captain Pearce led the town’s emergency response in dealing with the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, as well as the storm’s aftermath.

Board support for the promotion of Captain Pearce was decidedly different from when the officer was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain. Despite Wilson’s protest, in March the Republican and Conservative majority of the Southampton Town Board – Chris Nuzzi, Christine Scalera and Jim Malone – backed Pearce’s promotion. This time, the promotion to police chief was adopted unanimously.

According to the resolution affirming Captain Pearce’s promotion, there are fewer than three candidates willing to accept the position who have reached the rank of captain or higher in the whole of Southampton Town, including departments outside of the Southampton Town Police Department.

Following Wilson’s resignation, Councilman Nuzzi said he believed the majority of the board would want to see the promotion from within the department, rather than an outside appointment similar to Wilson, who came to the Southampton Town Police Department after serving as Chief of the Southampton Village Police Department.

The provisional appointment to police chief will include an annual salary of $166,669 for Captain Pearce effective December 1, according to the town board’s resolution.