Around East Hampton Town Hall: LTV, Bike Lanes, Airport Noise, Suspended Driver

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Nearing a year since their last contract expired, the East Hampton Town Board and Local Television Incorporated, or LTV, the public broadcasting provider, last week signed a new, three-year contract, ensuring the program’s ability to continue to provide public access programming.

The new agreement will be retroactive to November 3, 2012 and run to December 31, 2016, with an option to renew for an additional three years.

Under the terms of the new contract, LTV will receive a base amount of $550,000 from the town per year, and any additional funding the channel requests will have to be approved separately. Funding for the remainder of 2012 will conform to the terms of the previous agreement, while funding for 2013 includes the base $550,000, as well as an additional $132,000, for a total of $682,000.

The additional $132,000 was approved based on a review by the town of its zero-based budgeting, a process whereby all town departments must make a case for their funding each year, as it pertains to LTV. The additional amounts are limited to no more than 80 percent of the town’s revenues from Cablevision.

“We look forward to having our meetings continue to be taped,” said Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, the Town Board’s LTV liaison. “The show goes on.”

Bike Policy Adopted

Following East Hampton Village’s suit, the Town Board last Thursday adopted a policy intended to improve safety for bicyclists.

The policy calls for traffic impacts to be measured whenever bike lanes are established, physically separating bike lanes from car lanes whenever possible, placing bike lanes on public roads as an alternative to car use and providing access to major public facilities like schools, beaches and libraries. It also calls for certain measures such as lower speed limits, adequate warning signs for motorists and clear lane markings. Bike lanes are to be part of the design of any new highway improvement projects, and in places where they are not feasible in the vehicle lanes, a three-foot shoulder expansion is to be considered.

Airport Policy Presented

Following up on a similar presentation he made to the East Hampton Village Board in June, Peter Wolf, the chairman of the Village Preservation Society’s airport noise policy committee, pushed the Town Board last week to clamp down on airport noise.

Mr. Wolf presented a four-point policy that asks the town to not accept additional Federal Aviation Administration funds, to prohibit flights over village inland water bodies and other sensitive natural environments, to limit hours of operation to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and limit the frequency of operations.

Driver Suspended

A mini-bus driver in the town’s Human Services Department was suspended last week for 30 days without pay, pending disciplinary charges.

The employee, Darlene Smith, faces charges of misconduct and incompetence under Civil Service Law. The suspension is retroactive to July 29.

Eileen Peters was appointed hearing officer. Town Board members said they could not share further details.

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