The Sagaponack Village Board plans to wait a few months before reviewing its agreement with the Southampton Town Highway Department—if it decides to review it at all.
In November, the board briefly discussed at a public meeting the possibility of exploring other options for highway services, with board members concerned the village would not get the desired level of service in the future via the contract with the town.
“We were concerned that the longtime foreman of the department, who serviced our area, had been switched,” explained Sagaponack Village Mayor Donald Louchheim this week. He said there is a general consensus that more attention needs to be paid to maintaining the roads in Sagaponack Village.
The village pays approximately $800,000 a year to the town for highway services and would have to let the town know by August 2016 if it plans not to renew the contract for the following year.
But Mr. Louchheim explained that village officials will wait to see how a new foreman assigned to Sagaponack maintains the area before deciding what, if anything, to do differently. “We are kind of just in a wait-and-see position,” he said.
Currently, Sagaponack Village is the only municipality within the town’s borders that does not have its own highway department. If the village decided not to maintain the relationship with the town, Sagaponack could form its own highway department and hire a highway superintendent, or it could contract out with a highway department from a different municipality—possibly East Hampton Town, which the village borders.
“At the moment I can tell you that nothing is happening,” the mayor said about researching alternative highway department options. “If it is something the board wants to address, then we will address it closer to the time where we can actually do anything about it.”