Southampton Town Briefs

Gabrielle Vissicchio
Gabrielle Vissicchio’s two-year-old son collected 18 balloons instead of his usual rocks and shells during a recent half-mile walk along Kirk Beach to Hither Hills in East Hampton.

Release Of Balloons Banned

The Southampton Town Board on June 25 adopted a resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Julie Lofstad to ban the intentional release of balloons.

In doing so, Southampton has joined East Hampton Town, which passed a similar measure earlier this year.

Helium balloons, once a staple at birthday parties and other celebrations at the beach or used to draw attention to real estate open house and other activities, have become a bane in recent years as scientists have discovered that sea animals like turtles mistake them for food with often deadly results.

“We need to change our behaviors and find better alternatives to products that harm our environment,” Lofstad said in a release. “Balloons that have been released, or thrown in the garbage, become hazards to marine life and land animals. They take up space in our landfills. There are viable alternatives, such as butterfly releases, planting a tree in someone’s honor, or using whirligigs to attract attention. If we stop and think about where these single-use items go after we are done with them, perhaps we will be more cognizant and careful in our choices.”

The legislation is Councilwoman’s Lofstad’s latest effort to support environmental sustainability in the town. Earlier this year, she sponsored legislation to ban plastic straws and polystyrene in the town.

Expanded Senior Lunch Program

The Southampton Town Senior Services lunch program will soon expand into the Westhampton area. Nutritious lunches will be offered to seniors at the Westhampton Free Library, located at 7 Library Avenue in Westhampton Beach. The lunch program began July 9 and will be offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at noon. Anyone age 60 and older is eligible.

“This is a great expansion of our senior lunch program to offer a nutritious meal and activities to our seniors in the Westhampton area,” said Southampton Director of Senior Services, Liz Dwyer. “It’s a small start, but thanks to the Westhampton Public Library, it gives us a chance to bring services closer to those in need in the Westhampton area.”

“We are still searching for a more permanent location for a senior center in the Westhampton area, but this new lunch program is a perfect start to help our seniors enjoy a meal with friends, closer to home,” said Southampton Town Councilman John Bouvier.

For more information about lunch and transportation options and to register call the Hampton Bays Senior Center at 631-728-1235. Registration is recommended but not required.

Flawless’ Audit Report

A recently completed independent audit of Southampton Town’s finances, conducted by certified public accountants at Nawrocki Smith, found no reportable deficiencies and made no recommendations for improvement of any kind. The report stated the town is budgeting from a “position of financial strength and stability.”

The audit of the year 2018 concluded the town enjoys “a strong financial condition due to many years of sound fiscal management of town resources.”

The report credited the town’s strong position to controlled spending, sound budget practices, efforts to control healthcare costs, and reorganized and restructured departments for greater efficiency.

The report stated the town has also benefited greatly by paying down its debt and refinancing debt at a lower rate. It also praised the town’s “pay-as-you-go” policy to address various needs without having to take on additional borrowing.

“This is a stellar independent audit,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman in a release. “This confirms that our management practices are working. I want to commend Comptroller Len Marchese and his staff for fiscal control and working to save Southampton Town taxpayers their hard-earned money.”

The complete report can be found on the town’s website

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