Gaining local control of the East Hampton Airport to reduce aircraft noise, creating a new municipal office complex, replacing East Hampton’s senior center and construction of a Southampton Hospital satellite emergency facility top Supervisor Larry Cantwell’s 2017 list of priorities.
Cantwell, a Democrat who won re-election to a second two-year term in November 2015, discussed his to-do list on Tuesday morning during the town board’s annual organization meeting.
“The town’s diligent efforts to gain local control of the East Hampton Airport through a thoughtful process and adoption of local laws was thwarted by the Second Circuit Court’s decision nullifying local restrictions,” Cantwell said, referring to the Nov. 4 ruling.
But he vowed to continue to fight on in the face of a “growing call” from fed-up residents to close the airport.
“Unfortunately, absent a lawful strategy to significantly reduce noise, the future of the airport is likely to be called into question,” Cantwell said. “The Town has approved the filing of an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and is also seeking congressional action on the town’s right to enact reasonable local restrictions.”
But Cantwell said other options also need to be explored.
“Aviation interests must take heed as well and work to find solutions to this serious [noise] issue before next summer or risk a growing call to close the airport in the future,” Cantwell said.
Cantwell said replacing the senior center is another important step in the town’s plans for the new year because the project is “long overdue.”
“Our seniors deserve much better,” he said. “Final plans and specs should be completed, and the project out to bid in the next six months.”
Cantwell said plans for the replacement of the old Town Hall are at a similar stage.
“Final plans and specs to replace the old Town Hall should be ready as well,” Cantwell said. “We expect to sell the offices at 300 Pantigo Place and the former scavenger waste site to help offset at least part of the sizable costs of these two important projects.”
Getting emergency facilities that are more convenient for East Hampton residents is another priority for the coming months at a targeted site where ballfields are now located, Cantwell said.
“We pledge to work cooperatively with the Little League to ensure replacement ballfields currently located at the Pantigo site are relocated and built to meet its needs,” Cantwell said.