Southampton Town is asking the state for more community projects funds.
Diana Weir, the director of Housing and Community Development, announced she’s asking New York to up the Community Development Block Grant total the town receives from $90,000 to $225,000.
“They can be economic development or public service ideas,” she said. Residents were able to pitch ideas for how to spend the money for 2019, and Vince Taldone, co-chair of the Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton Community Association’s economic development committee, had a few thoughts. He pitched three separate projects the association is currently working on, not including the largest development, which is the Ludlam Avenue property in Riverside that will house a second Children’s Museum of the East End, among other exhibits and events.
First was to complete paving on Wood Road Trail, which was, according to Taldone, partly paved earlier this year for emergency service vehicles. The rest of the road, which leads to Iron Point Park in Flanders, is dirt, leaving it inaccessible to the handicapped. The estimate he presented of $82,125 to complete the paving comes from the town’s highway department. Second, he pitched the first of three bus shelters needed in the Riverside/Flanders area.
“I have to admit this is my stop, but I have worked on 40 bus shelters on the East End in 17 years — this just happens to work out to be the one where I live,” he said of the $38,000 project. “The county is no longer buying higher-end shelters. They want us to settle for cheaper ones. We want to continue the uniform look of the East End Bus Shelter, which was designed by this town some 17 years ago in the engineering department.”
His last request was for $16,000 for an entrance sign at the intersection of Old Quogue Road and Riverleigh Avenue, which he said marks the entrance to new Riverside.
Deadline for proposals according to Weir will be in three weeks. She said once she has received all proposals a list will be presented to the town. She added Maureen’s Haven, the only shelter in the area that provides a place for homeless during the holidays, is also looking to propose a project.
In other Southampton news, the town is looking to acquire Bel-Aire Cove Motel at Shinnecock Hills in Hampton Bays for private sector redevelopment. The resolution, sponsored by Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, was tabled for more community input. He said the cost to purchase is $1,060,000 and said the town would work with the community to foster a better use for the property. Schneiderman said the town will just be securing the permits for the sanitation system and approval for development. The property would then be publicly auctioned off to a developer to execute a plan.
Resident Lauretta Werner was one of multiple residents that addressed concerns about those that live there being displaced, and about whether it is the town’s place to purchase the property, adding that onus should be placed on the landlord to clean it up.
“I also don’t think the town should be a real estate agent,” she said. The public hearing was recessed to October 23, at 6 p.m.