Tag Archive | "Wainscott"

East Hampton Town Supervisor’s Budget Lowers Taxes, Sells Poxabogue

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The tentative budget submitted to the East Hampton Town Clerk by Supervisor Bill Wilkinson on Friday raises spending by 2.5 percent — but it also cuts taxes.

The $65.6 million budget shows a 0.2-percent tax cut for residents of the town who live outside the villages of East Hampton and Sag Harbor and a 9.4-percent reduction in taxes for town residents who reside within those villages.

“With the 2012 tentative budget, like the 2011 adopted budget, we continue our sensitivity to the tax burden on town residents and limit spending to the greatest extent possible,” wrote Supervisor Wilkinson is his budget message. “Our 2012 tentative budget decreases tax rates for those living inside and outside our incorporated villages. Spending increases slightly, due primarily to employee benefit cost escalation and in part to money needed to eliminate the $27.3 million deficit created by the previous administration.”

In his budget message, Supervisor Wilkinson goes on to note that in the last 20 months, town government has been “restructured,” merging the Harbors and Docks Department into the Police Department. There has also been a “streamlining” of Human Services, brining ordinance enforcement, the building inspector, fire marshal and animal control under one Public Safety department, and the establishment of a Finance Office representing finance, information technology, human resources, the tax receiver and purchasing.

These changes, he wrote, have helped reduce spending and maximize how town personnel are used.

Supervisor Wilkinson said discontinuation of the leaf pick-up program coupled with the closing of the town’s Recycling Center on Wednesdays has resulted in $700,000 in annual savings.

The tentative budget also maintains funding levels from 2011 for the East Hampton Daycare and Learning Center, the Family Service League, the East Hampton Food Pantry, Phoenix House, the Montauk Youth Association, the Springs Youth Association, Project MOST, RSVP for Seniors and the Pediatric Dental Fund.

The tentative budget also includes the sale of East Hampton Town’s portion of The Poxabogue Golf Center to Southampton Town. A resolution authorizing that sale, for $2.2 million will be offered at Thursday night’s town board meeting.

On Tuesday, during a town board work session, Supervisor Wilkinson said that in addition he expects the town will receive about $200,000 in owed revenues from the golf center.

Supervisor Wilkinson added that he was told East Hampton residents would not be charged differently from Southampton Town residents for the use of the golf center as a result of the sale. Deputy Supervisor Theresa Quigley explained that the town had done what it hoped to accomplish – prevent the close to 40-acre course from being privately developed. The Town of Southampton originally purchased the property with Community Preservation Funds (CPF), which will protect the land from future development, she said.

In 2004, East Hampton Town purchased half of the golf course for $3.25 million alongside Southampton Town in an effort to preserve the recreational use of the land. It could not use CPF monies for the purchase, explained Supervisor Wilkinson on Tuesday, because the property lay outside the town.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Wilkinson did not say how much debt the town still owed on that purchase, but estimated with the sale to Southampton, East Hampton Town should about break even.

The East Hampton Town Board will meet tonight, October 6, at 7 p.m. The town board must approve a final budget and send it to the state by November 20.

“I am proud of this 2012 tentative budget because it builds on and continues the management and financial disciplines introduced in the 2011 adopted budget and places the town in a stronger position as we move forward,” said Wilkinson in his budget message. “Over the next several months I will be introducing, and the town board will be reviewing, a three-year capital improvement plan and budget that will address plant, equipment and the future infrastructure needs of the town.”

That Tangy Taste of Summer

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By Claire Walla

Invoking the cool, laid-back aura of the film to which its amber-colored label pays homage, “Pete’s Endless Summer” line of sauces and rubs suggests the idea that barbeque is just as satisfying as surf.

“Some of the best times and memories have happened during the summer and often involved a great barbecue or dinner,” Pete Ambrose explains on the company’s website. A native of the East End, he goes on to suggest that much of the flavors he’s now captured in bottles and jars are reminiscent of the times he spent barbecuing right here on the beach (mentioning Napeague by name). But they’re also concoctions he’s been perfecting over the years through the endless number of hours Ambrose himself has spent in the kitchen.

Having catered large events through The Seafood Shop in Wainscott for the past 20 years, Ambrose said creating a line of sauces and rubs has been in the back of his mind for a long time.

“It’s been a desire of mine for about 10 to 15 years,” Ambrose explained in an interview. “It’s finally become a reality.”

The tri-colored label, featuring a man at the grill in black silhouette, graces containers filled with such specialty condiments as Apricot Chipotle Barbecue Sauce, Ginger Teriyaki Marinade, Wasabi Aioli, Seasoning Sea Salt, the über-popular Rib Ticklin’ Rub and Ambrose’s signature Endless Summer Rub.

“All good rubs have a lot of the same basings: brown sugar, paprika, celery root,” Ambrose explained; and Pete’s Endless summer is no different. However, each item in the East End-inspired line of rubs and sauces does have at least one key ingredient that separates it from your run-of-the-mill condiment. For example, Ambrose pointed to his Apricot Chipotle BBQ Sauce: “Apricot is something people wouldn’t necessarily use as a sweetener.”

The flavors are, in part, a byproduct of the palette Ambrose has developed over the years, harking back to his boyhood. (Ambrose actually began working at the Seafood Shop in Wainscott at the age of 14.)

“I think anyone who works for me has brought something to the table,” Ambrose said of the flavors he’s created. “A lot of my staff comes from Mexico and other parts of South America,” he said, which has influenced Ambrose to use such tangy spices as chimichurri and hot peppers.

Ambrose said the line has found much success; he typically has about 40 cases of each item on order every four weeks. “We sell about 80 to 100 cases of barbecue sauce each summer,” he added, explaining that the apricot chipotle sauce has been a big hit. But the road to getting these recipes “shelf stable,” as Ambrose put it, wasn’t exactly quick and easy.

“It’s taken a while to get this going,” Ambrose explained. He set to work building a line of sauces and rubs about eight or nine years ago with a business partner. However, the partnership dissolved, and it was about five years before Ambrose set out to get the elements of the project in order once more. Not wanting to see the dream fade away, Ambrose hired a consultant to help get his business plan in order.

“We always had a great product, we just needed the help getting it out,” he said.

In the end, instead of paying to get his line of products into local stores and supermarkets, Ambrose said he went with Plan B: farmers’ markets. Much to his pleasant surprise, Ambrose said the tactic proved fruitful.

“Retail rent is very expensive in the Hamptons,” which essentially nixed the idea of selling the sauces and rubs on supermarket shelves, he said. Plus, “it’s hard to test a product on someone else’s shelf.”

So he took his line to the weekly farmers’ markets in Amagansett, East Hampton and Montauk.

“The markets are very low-key and relaxed,” he explained. “You’re also face-to-face with your customers… and people can be very chatty.”

Not only have farmers’ markets given Ambrose an opportunity to fully describe his product — even tempt hungry shoppers with free samples — but he’s been able to get customer feedback.

“You can’t monitor [your product at] retail shops that way,” he said.

Word of mouth has already brought orders from New Jersey and Connecticut; Ambrose also said he’s hoping to expand the company’s reach geographically and get the products into markets in Manhattan and Brooklyn beginning this fall. Not to mention making them available for purchase online, which Ambrose hopes to achieve in the coming months.