Around Southampton Town Hall

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A local businessman was recognized by the Southampton Town Board on Tuesday for his dedication and service to the community.

David Carr, owner of McGuire’s Hearing and Audiological Services in Riverhead, was presented with a proclamation by Town Supervisor Linda Kabot—with each board member reading a paragraph—expressing the town’s gratitude for Operation I Can Hear You, a program initiated by Mr. Carr to send phone cards to troops serving overseas.

Mr. Carr, who has five stores across Long Island, including one in Southampton, recently donated dozens of pre-paid phone cards to personnel of the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Town Board member Chris Nuzzi said he and his colleagues wanted to take a moment to thank Mr. Carr on behalf of the town for helping an integral part of the community, the 106th. Mr. Carr’s company donates $25 calling cards to Friends of the 106th, a support group for the Rescue Wing, every time one of his customers is fitted with a hearing device.

Mr. Carr said the phone cards are needed by the troops and go a long way in helping them deal with being away from their families. “The cards give them access to get in touch with their loved ones back in the states,” he said.

Mr. Carr said he grew up with hearing loss on both sides of his family and his philosophy is that hearing the voice of a loved one is an essential part of life. “We’re proud to be able to spread this philosophy to the troops,” he said.

Land acquisitions

At its regular meeting Tuesday, May 13, the Southampton Town Board authorized tapping into the Community Preservation Fund for $3 million to purchase 5.7 acres of land on Mill Road in Westhampton.

The town plans to develop the property, owned by Matilda Bauer, for the Southampton Aquatic Recreation Center, or SHARC, and the Westhampton Community Center. Monies from the CPF were used only to purchase the property, and will not be used to construct or operate the facilities.

Hank Beck of the Citizens Advisory Committee West told the Town Board that he and the members of his committee wholeheartedly support the acquisition of the Bauer property. “It makes all the sense in the world,” Mr. Beck said. “It’s next to the school and has the infrastructure in place.”

SHARC board member and Westhampton Beach Trustee Tony Burke seconded Mr. Beck’s support and said purchasing the Bauer property is a “huge win for the town.”

The town also purchased two properties—14.2 acres of vacant land on Fanning Road and Temple Avenue in Flanders from Kenneth Ettlinger for $940,000 and 16.4 acres of vacant land on Dock Road in Remsenburg/Speonk from Martin Melzer for $6 million—that are located in the Wetland Preservation Target Area, considered to be an indispensable and fragile natural resource: The wetlands contain vernal ponds, expansive marshes, swamps, bays and creeks and sustain a multitude of natural functions essential to the ecology and bio-diversity of the town. They also provide flood protection, pollution control and scenic, natural open space.

Rosko farm exemption

Despite the recent extension of a hamlet-wide moratorium in East Quogue, the Town Board granted an exemption Tuesday to a developer with plans to construct eight homes on 57 acres of land. Constantine Rosko, owner of Rosko Farms, originally planned to build 14 homes on the acreage. The enactment of the moratorium on April 25, 2006 interrupted those plans.

On May 8, 2008, the Southampton Town Planning Board agreed to support the request for the exemption, which was sought by Mr. Rosko’s attorney, Wayne Bruyn. According to the Town Board, Mr. Bruyn successfully petitioned the town in March of this year for the exemption based upon “undue hardship” on his client.

The planned development has already been approved by the Planning Board and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. The Town Board found that granting an exemption to Rosko Farms did not negate the purpose of the environmental impact study running concurrent with the moratorium.

Computer systems purchased

At its regular meeting Tuesday, May 13, the Southampton Town Board entered into an agreement with Contemporary Computer Services Inc., for the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders. The $18,600 contract covers the design and installation of a wireless and Local Area Network system at the center. According to the Town Board, the technology will be a crucial component of what town officials have dubbed an “inter-generational facility.”

Along with hiring the company to provide service and support for the center, the Town Board also authorized the purchase of Cisco Networks equipment from Contemporary Computer Services for $69,532. This equipment is necessary to create the service and capability envisioned for the center.

Looking for SHARC architect

Moving ahead with its plans to construct an aquatic recreation facility and community center in Westhampton, the Town Board began the search for architects. Qualified candidates interested in being considered to help the town design a conceptual plan for the project must submit their bids to Southampton Town Hall on or before, June 27 of this year. Bidders must provide five complete copies of their submissions in a sealed envelope marked “Westhampton Community Center/SHARC Architectural Services.”

Rescue Center funding

The Town Board recently approved $3,000 from the Environmental Savings Fund for the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons, located off Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays. Town Supervisor Linda Kabot said the WRC does the “work of angels” and is increasingly called upon by the town.

Virginia Frati, the center’s executive director, said the WRC receives thousands of calls a year to rescue and rehabilitate wounded and abandoned animals.

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