Is Everybody Heading for the Hills Hearing?

Due to intense interest and growing crowd sizes, the Town of Southampton has issued a change of venue for the third public hearing of “The Hills” development by Discovery Land.

According to information shared by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s office, the public hearing  will now take place at the East Quogue Elementary School on Tuesday, January 10, at 6 p.m. instead of at Southampton Town Hall.  “The Hills at Southampton” is a proposed mixed use planned development district to develop 168 acres with 118 residential units and a golf and country club.

Trash Talk

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The Town of Southampton is set to show off its new compact Litter Truck  tomorrow, Thursday, November 3, at 1 p.m. at Southampton Town Hall. The new truck, small but mighty, will become a valuable part of the fleet for the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Tennant 4300 ATLV is self-propelled, all-terrain, street-sweeper-type vacuum. It functions well on grassed areas, fence lines, pedestrian areas, athletic fields as well as basketball and tennis courts. And it can also vacuum litter from inside parks, along the roadsides and go into places a large trash truck can’t fit.

“This litter truck will help our Parks and Rec crews get to those hard to reach areas,” says Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “It’s like having a giant vacuum to remove garbage which makes clean-up easier for our crews!”

New Life for Zombie Houses

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Who remembers this old house, now gone, in Southampton?  Dawn Watson photo.

The Town of Southampton announced on Friday that it  will receive a $175,000 grant from New York State to help remedy vacant and abandoned properties, aka “zombie houses.”

The money comes from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, through the New York State Housing Stabilization Fund. The funds won’t be used to clean up “Walking Dead” type messes (did you SEE last night’s very sad season opener??? Yikes!), but will rather  go toward establishing a proactive, sustainable program for prevention and remediation of vacant, blighted and abandoned properties.

Here’s how:

* Creating a database of “zombie,” properties by reviewing existing information services and inspecting properties, and share information with governmental and nonprofit partners for the purpose of returning the properties to productive use.

* Implementing grassroots outreach to connect property owners with foreclosure prevention programs NYS-HOPP and NYS-MAP.

* Training municipal officials to explore strategies, tools and best practices for addressing vacant and abandoned properties.

* Adding a part-time code enforcement staff member to focus on property maintenance issues.

“We want to get to the root of the problem and prevent “zombie” homes from popping up in our neighborhoods,” says Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “We believe we can stop it before it happens by identifying potential properties before they are either abandoned or go into foreclosure. We want to help people stay in their homes and connect them to services that will do just that.”

Southampton is one of 16 communities on Long Island that will receive a total of $3.3 million in state grants to help reduce the number of Zombie homes on Long Island.

Southampton Police Chief Named

Hats off to the new Chief! This afternoon, the Southampton Town Board appointed Steven E. Skrynecki as the Southampton Town Police Chief, who will replace retiring Chief Robert Pearce, who officially leaves his post tomorrow. Chief Skyrnecki, a Nassau County Chief, will begin his new job January. Southampton Town Police Captain Lawrence Schurek will serve as acting Chief until then.

Apparently this is one highly coveted job that is great work if you can get it. Chief Skrynecki will become the fifth Police Chief since the Southampton Town Police Department was founded in 1951.

According to information provided by the Southampton Town Supervisor’s office, Chief Skrynecki has been the Chief of the Department in Nassau County since 2010. He started as a patrol officer in Nassau County in 1974 and worked his way through the ranks to Commanding Officer of the Robbery Squad, Vice Squad, Narcotics Squad, Internal Affairs, Chief of Detectives to Chief of the Department. His recent executive initiatives include the active shooter program, ethics and policing with integrity, community police relations programs, heroin and gang abatement programs and security for presidential rallies and debates.

“The Chief comes to us with tremendous experience,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “It gives us extraordinary peace of mind that he will lead our Police Department in the years ahead. He’s the perfect candidate to take the reins from Chief Pearce who led the Department with such distinction,” said Supervisor Schneiderman. “I wish Chief Pearce a long and restful retirement and I look forward to working with Chief Skrynecki.”

 

Southampton Town Buys the Farm

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Not the Densieski Farm, but pretty nonetheless.

Straight from the Supe’s office:

The Town of Southampton has purchased the development rights to 86 acres of the Densieski Farm in East Quogue for $5.4 million, through the Community Preservation Fund. Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and the Town Board held a news xonference on Wednesday September 21, 2016 at 2 p.m. to announce the transfer. The 86 acres are split by Lewis Road and CR 104.

The Densieski family, which has been farming the land for 90 years, retains the development rights for 6 acres of the property. The current owner also farms the adjacent 150-plus acres of protected farmland. That helps complete the largest block of protected farmland west of the canal.

“By protecting this beautiful farm, we make sure farming remains an important part of our community for this and for future generations,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “It’s what the Community Preservation Fund was created to do.”

“This purchase helps support locally produced foods, which could reduce the trucking costs, that reduce carbon emissions, that in turn helps our environment,” said Councilwoman Julie Lofstad.

The Community Preservation Fund was established in 1999 and comes from the 2 percent real estate transfer tax. To date the Town of Southampton has spent over $565-million in land preservation.

 

Who Doesn’t Love a Tax Break?

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Another reason to call Southampton Town Jay Schneiderman the man!

On Monday afternoon, he delivered his proposed budget to Town Clerk, Sundy Schermeyer. Said budget calls for a nearly 2-percent drop in the current property tax rate, the largest reduction in the tax rate in many years.

“We’ve looked back over the past ten years and this is by far the most significant reduction in the tax rate that has been seen,” said Supervisor Schneiderman.

Here’s the rest of the information contained in an email sent straight from the Supervisor’s office this afternoon:

The 10-page Budget Message contained in the document details the approach to the budget development.  The Supervisor worked to stay within the Governor’s tax cap which allowed for less than 1% growth in the amount collected by the town in property taxes.  This budget not only came in below the cap but actually decreased the tax rate by 1.6%.   According to the budget message the Supervisor focused on public safety and quality of life issues as well as improving town infrastructure including roads and park facilities. The Supervisor called the budget, “structurally balanced and responsible”.

Supervisor Schneiderman thanked Town Comptroller Len Marchese for his assistance in developing the tentative budget. “This budget, as offered by Supervisor Schneiderman, continues the conservative budgeting of past administrations, while addressing some of our most valuable assets including employees, Town infrastructure and park facilities,” said Town Comptroller Len Marchese. Earlier this year, Moody’s Investment Services increased the Town’s credit rating to the highest level citing the strong financial management team at Town Hall among other factors.

The proposed budget offers several new positions; including one police officer and one public safety dispatcher paid from additional sales tax revenue secured from the County during Mr. Schneiderman’s tenure as Suffolk County Legislator for the region.   The budget also calls for a Director of Public Safety and the Director of Housing and Community Development.

The proposed budget calls for the consolidation of Code Enforcement, Animal Control, the Fire Marshall and Emergency Preparedness into a newly created Department of Public Safety. In addition, the proposed budget creates an Office of Housing and Community Development as a division of the Department of Land Management.

The Supervisor said that both changes were needed to address quality of life complaints. The new Department of Public Safety will focus on addressing housing code violations while the new Housing Office will focus on creating code compliant affordable housing opportunities for our workforce.

The proposed Town budget provides $3.2 million in capital borrowing for road improvements and $1.4 million for park facility upgrades. The budget also proposes $1.3 million in major technology upgrades in town-wide computer networks. Although the budget calls for this additional borrowing, the overall level of outstanding town debt is actually being reduced by over $7 million. The budget maintains surpluses in every account, with a cumulative increase in surplus funds of over one million dollars above current levels.

The 800-page budget document is bound by a binder with a rendering of Good Ground Park on the cover.  Good Ground Park, reflecting the original name of the Hampton Bays community, is scheduled to open on October 15th of this year and be fully operational by May 2017. The 36 acre park located north of Main Street features a 600 seat amphitheater and will offer a children’s playground and walking trails. The budget provides for the additional resources needed for the maintenance of the park facility.

The budget document will be formally presented to the Town Board at a Work Session scheduled this Thursday, September 20th at 10am. The Town Board will hold two works session on the budget October 6th and October 20th. Two public hearings on the proposed budget will be held on October 25th and November 9th. The budget may be amended through the budget process. However, it must be adopted by the Town Board or before November 20th. The full budget document can be viewed online at www.southamptontownny.gov .

 

Photos from Hamptons Contemporary Design Fair

Lots of friends and interesting new design to see during opening night of the Hamptons Contemporary Design+Décor Fair at the Southampton Elks Fairgrounds, which continues today and tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5. See below the photos for the schedule. 

The Friday, May 3Opening Night Reception was hosted by Architectural Digest and benefitted the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. I spotted several members of the  Host Committee, which included Alex Papachristidis & Scott Nelson, Lisa McCarthy, Jonathan Adler & Simon Doonan, Chesie Breen, Thom Filicia, Alexa Hampton, Celerie Kemble, Elizabeth Pyne, and Vicente Wolf, as well as Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber, art dealer Arne Glimcher, designer Marshall Watson, HC&G power ladies Marianne Howatson and Pamela Eldridge, fair organizer Rick Friedman, and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, among many others. Enjoy the photos I took.

And here are some more (and MUCH better!) shots by Lisa Tamburini. Smart lady brought her flash. Thanks Lisa!

Here’s the schedule of events for today, Saturday, June 4:

11 am – 12 pm: Meet the Author Book SigningMark Zeff (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

11 – 1 pm: Beach Magazine VIP Reception: PRIVATE EVENT (ASID Outdoor Lounge)

12 – 3 pm: Meet the Million Dollar ContractorStephen Fanuka (In the Sub-Zero Wolf Booth)

1 – 4 pm: Marshmallow Roasting (Outdoor Booth 409 + 410: NEA Studio’s Sweet Spot)

1:30 – 2 pm: Guided Tour with ASID (meet at ASID Outdoor North Garden Lounge)Glenn Gissler, ASID; Robin Baron, ASID; Kim Radovich, ASID; James Rixner, ASID; Bonnie J. Steves, ASID

1-2 pm: Meet the Author Book Signing: with Vicente Wolf (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

2-2:30 pmExhibitor Spotlight: Meet Furniture Designer + Author, David Ebner (Booth 307)
2:30 – 3:15pm: Where Do I Begin?!  Why You Need an Interior Designer! Moderator: Glenn Gissler, ASID; Panel: Robin Baron, ASID; Bonnie J. Steves, ASID; James Rixner, ASID

2 – 3 pm: Meet the Author Book Signing:  Holly Peterson (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

2:30 – 4 pm: Long Island Pulse VIP Reception (Outdoor Booth 403: Lynx Grill)

3 – 4 pm: Meet the Author Book Signing:  Bates & Masi (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

3:45 – 4:30 pm: Let’s Talk Color! Moderator: Robin Baron, ASID
Panel: Farrow & Ball Color Expert; Kim Radovich, ASID; Bonnie J. Steves, ASID

4:30 – 5 pm Exhibitor Spotlight: AGS Stainless (Booth 229+230)

4 – 5 pm: Meet the Author Book SigningJohn Barman (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

5 – 5:45 pm: Interior Design for 21st Century Living Moderator: Glenn Gissler, ASID
Panel: Robin Baron, ASID; James Rixner, ASID; Glenn Gissler, ASID; Kim Radovich, ASID

5 – 6 pm: Meet the Author Book SigningDavid Scott (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

6 – 8 pm: Celebrating HC&G’s 15th Anniversary (Booth 245-248 + ASID Outdoor Lounge)

8 – 10 pm: After-Hours Party Hosted by Long Island Pulse (OFFSITE at Southampton Social Club.) RSVP available with a ticket.

And for tomorrow, Sunday, June 5:

11 am – 12 pm: Meet the Author Book SigningMark Zeff (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

12 – 1 pm: Meet the Author Book SigningBob Tabor (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

1 – 4 pm: Marshmallow Roasting (Outdoor Booth 409 + 410: NEA Studio’s Sweet Spot)

1:30 – 2 pm: Guided Tour with ASID (meet at ASID Outdoor North Garden Lounge)Glenn Gissler, ASID; Robin Baron, ASID; Bonnie J. Steves, ASID

1 – 2 pm: Meet the Author Book SigningScott Sanders (Booth 265: Sylvester + Co.)

2 – 2:30 pm: Exhibitor Spotlight: Zicana Gemstones (Booth 215 + 216)

2:30 – 3:15 pm: Breakthroughs in Technology: Sustainability, Protection & Automation