Protection of the quality of life in Montauk and other East Hampton communities, replacement of the old municipal building, an improved senior center and a new emergency care facility top the list of 2016 priorities for Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.
Cantwell announced his goals for the year on Tuesday in his State of the Town address during East Hampton Town’s organizational meeting. He and incumbent board members and fellow Democrats Peter Van Scoyoc and Sylvia Overby officially resumed office after winning re-election in November to second terms.
“I am fortunate to serve on a town board that wrestles with difficult problems — such as helicopter noise, enforcement challenges in Montauk, overcrowded housing in single-family residences, and downtown Montauk beach stabilization — and I know how hard making some of these decisions can be,” Cantwell said.
In his speech, the supervisor alluded to problems with disruptive young visitors to Montauk last summer. A record number of complaints were made to police during the July Fourth weekend, sparking community outrage that led to new or proposed laws to address related overcrowded housing, parking and other issues.
“We will continue to strive for a high level of cooperation and coordination from our personnel in Building, Code, Fire and Police, where additional personnel and training will come to bear,” Cantwell said. “We will work to effectively implement the new Rental Registry Law. We will hold workshops this month for Realtors and landlords, and provide information to the general public. We are seeking cooperation to help make this law an effective tool to protect our residential neighborhoods and prevent overcrowding and illegal occupancy.”
Cantwell said that high on his to-do list is completing plans to replace the old Town Hall located behind the current one on Pantigo Road with a new structure; the sale of existing office space at 300 Pantigo Place where offices for the planning board, building department and tax receiver are located; and the consolidation of departments on existing Town Hall property.
Pantigo Place offices would be relocated into the new building.
“The Senior Center on Springs-Fireplace Road needs to be replaced, and we hope plans will be developed this year for a new, expanded facility,” Cantwell added.
He also discussed the possible location in East Hampton of an emergency facility operated by Southampton Hospital.
“We have held preliminary discussions with Southampton Hospital, which has expressed serious interest in building a new year-round 24/7 emergency care facility in East Hampton that will provide emergency room care for residents and be a major improvement for our ambulance services,” Cantwell said. “In financing the cost of the new Town Hall and Senior Center, we should look to offset these costs by selling the 11,000 square feet of office space at 300 Pantigo Place and selling the former scavenger waste plant property on Springs-Fireplace Road.”