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Dec 12, 2018 11:03 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Second Award For Westhampton Beach Water Quality Project May Have To Wait

Dec 18, 2018 5:22 PM

Southampton Town should reject a request from the Village of Westhampton Beach for an additional $900,178 from the Community Preservation Fund to pay for drainage improvements along Main Street, a member of the Water Quality Advisory Committee told the Town Board on Tuesday.

The Main Street project in the village aims to improve drainage along Main Street, as well as adding new sidewalks and traffic circles and burying utility lines. When estimates came in higher than expected, Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore turned to the town for more money.

The portion of the project that CPF money would be used for includes installing two hydrodynamic separators that would filter out impurities before water empties into Moniebogue Bay and replacing an underground brick culvert that lies under two buildings and an alleyway.

To replace the culvert, contractors will have to support both buildings structurally and create a dry space. Originally the project was expected to cost $459,025, but the lowest bid, from Wading River-based Excav Services Inc., came in at $1,220,560.

Ms. Moore told Town Board members during a public hearing on Tuesday that the project wasn’t fully fleshed out when the village submitted the original application for CPF money.

The money, according to Janice Scherer, a member of the Water Quality Advisory Committee, which oversees the use of CPF money for water quality improvements, is to be used for $71,643 in administrative costs as well as costs associated with de-watering to create a dry space for the contractors to work in.

On behalf of the committee, Ms. Scherer told board members they should not approve the additional money, especially for administrative costs. She said the committee thinks the expenses are legitimate, but that the village should use the money it has received so far, then come back next year and apply for more.

Awarding the increase, Ms. Scherer explained, would also set a precedent for applicants to come back for more money after receiving an award from the CPF. “Coming back for a second bite is not an approach we want to take,” she said.

Town Board member John Bouvier said he understands the problem that village officials are facing and is in favor of awarding the additional money.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman was also understanding. “It happens. It’s going to happen,” he said, explaining that costs do change after bids are received. “I think, in good faith, sometimes you have to adjust.”

The $900,178 would be in addition to the $1,238,922 of CPF money that the village was awarded in October, to put toward water quality improvements in the form of better drainage along Main Street.

The project was one of seven in the Town of Southampton that received funding for the first time since the CPF program was modified to allow 20 percent to go toward water quality improvements. It was also one of two projects that the village received funding for.

In total, Westhampton Beach was awarded almost $2,368,922, which included $1.13 million to be put toward the village’s new sewer district.

Townwide, Southampton awarded $3,552,073, with 66 percent of that going to Westhampton Beach.

The public hearing was closed on Tuesday, and the board did not take action on the request.

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Where is SH Village???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Dec 21, 18 10:51 AM