Members of the East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday discussed changes—only a few, but notable ones—they would like to make in Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s $71.5 million proposed spending plan for 2015.
Town Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez asked for an additional $30,000 to add a part-time youth coordinator to have that resource available for the community. Only $10,000 was placed in the budget for that position for 2015.
She also asked that the town put together a calendar of events across town that the public, seniors specifically, could access. To do so would require the purchase of software that combines all the ongoing events into one calendar. She said it would cost approximately $1,200 each year.
Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said she’d like to save money by budgeting for only one part-time bus driver for human services, rather than the three positions in the current budget draft.
Additionally, she said the grants they give to people to attend the Phoenix House rehabilitation center in Wainscott should be $50,000 in 2015 and not the $60,000 that had been put into the budget. She said she expects to have a discussion about the airport’s spending plan at next Tuesday’s work session as well to flesh it out a bit more. That budget sustains itself, meaning what revenue comes in at the airport funds its operation.
Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc suggested adding $2,500 for maintenance of the town’s historic cemeteries, since the town has been “falling behind in maintaining” them, he said.
Councilwoman Sylvia Overby said she’d like the Town Board to look into increasing the salary of the town’s Planning Board secretary, Jodi Walker, but that issue would have to be discussed in executive session, because it involves town personnel.
Ms. Overby also wants an increase from $400 to $1,000 for the Anti-Bias Task Force in 2015. The previous administration had budgeted $1,000 for the group for 2013. She also asked that the East Hampton Arts Council get a $2,000 budget so that Jump Start, a grant program from Riverhead, would be able to come to East Hampton and help local artists show and sell their work. Mr. Cantwell said he’d need more information on the proposal before the board agrees on what to do for the arts council.
Board member Fred Overton asked that a correction be made to the Fisheries Advisory Committee. He said the $10,000 budget did not show up in the spending plan, which was an oversight.
Pio Lombardo of Lombardo Associates, which has helped the town put together its Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, presented what would need to be completed in Montauk. He identified the Montauk Center area, Ditch Plains, the docks and Camp Hero as areas that would need more study and ultimately an overhaul.
From what they know about the high concentration of bacterial contamination in the area, Mr. Lombardo said the Montauk Center and the Ditch Plains areas would be good candidates for neighborhood or community systems, where homes and businesses would tie into a system to get rid of their waste. He said homes and businesses in the docks area could be fixed individually. He estimated that the cost would be the same among neighbors in areas that need upgrading. He said if a pipe needs to be replaced, it could cost “well under” $1,000.
More information about the plan can be found online at ehwaterrestore.com.