In order to offer homeowners financial incentives to upgrade their aging septic systems in favor of environmentally friendly modern systems, the Southampton Town Board has budgeted another $100,000 toward its septic rebate program.
The program was initially funded with $50,000. The program provides a 50 percent rebate for the total upgrade cost, and an extra 10 percent to homeowners in a critical watershed area or within 200 feet of a water body. The first round of incentives were offered in May, and the $50,000 was exhausted after three weeks and disbursements to 16 homeowners.
The additional $100,000 was transferred from unallocated insurance funds on November 12 by town board resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Christine Scalera.
The $100,000 will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, though those who applied in May but missed out then because the money was exhausted will be first in line.
“The original funding depleted after only a few weeks, proving that homeowners are willing, even eager, to upgrade, if offered an incentive to do so,” Scalera said.
In 2012, Scalera sponsored Southampton Town’s water quality protection fund—a first in Suffolk County. The fund is a dedicated funding source for advancing water quality improvement projects.
“While ultimately, I believe a regional approach is what is going to be needed to address this critical issue, with what I hope will be attendant funding opportunities, I believe fiscally responsible appropriations as done thus far on the part of the Town are warranted in the interim,” Scalera said.
Applications are available at the building department office in Southampton Town Hall, 116 Hampton Road, Southampton.