East Hampton Town
County Money for Amagansett Rentals
The St. Michael’s Senior Housing Project, under construction in Amagansett, has been awarded $300,000 of federal funding, which will come to it through through the Suffolk County Office of Housing and Community Development.
The money comes in the form of a deferred payment loan from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to the owner and contractor of the project, the St. Michael’s Windmill Housing Development Fund Corporation.
It is one of several sources of funding for the $10.8 million project, which will include 40 low-income rental apartments for senior citizens and a community center.
All the units are to be occupied by people whose incomes are below 50 percent of the area’s median income. They will receive Section 8 rental assistance and no tenant will pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.
Federal Fort Pond Suit Settled
East Hampton Town officials have reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit that alleged Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and Councilwoman Theresa Quigley had violated the federal and state Constitutional rights, including freedom of speech, of people who spoke out against a plan to sell the town’s Fort Pond House property in Montauk.
The plaintiffs, Third House Nature Center and its director, Edward Johann, claimed that the town closed the facility in retaliation for their vocal opposition to the property sale plan. The house, which had been used by various community groups, including the Third House Nature Center, was declared unsafe for public occupancy and closed in 2010 shortly after the town’s controversial decision to sell it.
In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, according to James Henry, a Sag Harbor attorney representing Mr. Johann, the plaintiffs will be allowed to enter the Fort Pond House to retrieve property left there, and to use space at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center free of charge for nature center activities.
A separate lawsuit in state court challenging the decision to put the Fort Pond House property up for sale remains before the court.
Wastewater Plan’s First Step
Three East Hampton Town Board members are expected to pass a resolution tonight initiating the process of creating a master plan addressing wastewater management, including what to do about the town’s scavenger waste treatment plant, which is in need of repair and is being used at present as a transfer station only. At a board meeting tonight, Councilman Dominick Stanzione will offer the measure, which is supported by Councilwoman Sylvia Overby and Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc.
Councilwoman Theresa Quigley and Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, the only two board members willing to accept a proposal earlier this year from the sole company that responded to the town’s request for private entities to take over the waste treatment plant, have refused to consider other courses of action and indicated Tuesday that they would not vote for Mr. Stanzione’s resolution.
The councilman had also moved to temporarily close the waste transfer station, which is costing the town $30,000 a month to run and, according to a recent report, is being used only by one septic waste carter. Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley also oppose that idea, which is endorsed by the town’s budget and finance committee. At Ms. Quigley’s insistence, the other board members agreed to hold a public hearing before deciding on the closure.
Code Comments Rankle
Comments by David Buda, a Springs resident and town board watcher, were interrupted at the town board meeting on Tuesday by Theresa Quigley, who objected to Mr. Buda’s use of a posterboard showing alleged violations of town zoning laws.
“It’s a completely inappropriate use of town board time, and camera, and space,” Ms. Quigley said. “You’ve abused this town board platform for too long, and I’m not going to stand for it,” she said, before walking out of the room. Mr. Buda went on to speak for his allotted four minutes during the board’s designated public comment period.
Ms. Quigley’s comments came after a complaint by another speaker, Tina Piette, an attorney representing Ruschmeyer’s, a Montauk club that has been cited for zoning violations, that the town board should not entertain comments by citizens about matters that are before the courts.
Gansett Purchase No More
The town’s proposed purchase of 1.4 acres on Cranberry Hole Road in Amagansett is off the table, the town board learned this week, as the landowner, Lynda Edwards, has accepted a higher offer from a private buyer, reportedly a neighbor. A hearing was to have been held tonight on the town’s planned $775,000 purchase.
The site was to have been used, in part, for a public parking area for those visiting a 1.2-acre waterfront parcel across the street, which the town board voted unanimously to purchase on Aug. 2. Residents of the area who attended a hearing on that purchase that night had expressed concern about using the nearby parcel for parking.