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Government Briefs 01.20.22

Thu, 01/20/2022 - 09:45

East Hampton Town

Preservation Fund Swells

November 2021 marked the 16th consecutive month that the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund brought in more than $10 million in revenue and outperformed the previous year’s totals, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced Tuesday.

Drawn from a one-half-percent tax on real estate transfers, the C.P.F. grew by $195.1 million, more than 65 percent, over the first 11 months of 2021. The same period in 2020 saw it grow by $118.11 million. Since it was enacted in 1999, the fund has produced over $1.79 billion for land preservation, recreational space, historic easements, clean water initiatives, and more.

In East Hampton, the first 11 months of 2021 outperformed the same period in 2020 by almost 76 percent — from $34.7 million to $61 million. Shelter Island Town posted gains of nearly 86 percent, up to $4.29 million, while Southampton Town’s fund grew by 61.5 percent, up to $110.95 million. Southold and Riverhead approached gains of about 50 percent and 55 percent, respectively, up to $12.55 million and $6.26 million more for preservation.

New York State

Open Meetings Update Signed

Gov. Kathy M. Hochul has signed into law a bill that codifies the ability of state and local governments, school districts, and other public entities to continue holding their public meetings virtually for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The stipulation that those virtual meetings must be accessible to the public via some form of broadcasting or recording remains in place.

“The duties and responsibilities of government never stopped with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Assemblyman Thiele said in a release. “State and local governments relied heavily on the ability to meet safely and transparently in the last two years. With this authorization now in law, they can continue to do so for the duration of the state disaster emergency.”

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