Southampton Town has a strong economy, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said in his State of the Town address Tuesday.
In his second State of the Town speech since being elected as the town’s supervisor in 2015, Schneiderman outlined goals to create affordable housing and improve quality of life issues.
He cited Southampton’s Aaa rating by Moody’s Investor Services and a tax reduction under the $94.7 million 2017 budget as evidence of the town’s “sound financial footing.”
“Again, I can say to all that the state of the town’s finances is excellent,” Schneiderman said.
Looking ahead, Schneiderman laid out several long-range efforts, including a moratorium on Planned Development Districts, expanding the existing sewer district into Riverside, supporting local businesses through various code modifications and infrastructure projects.
Housing was one of the major themes of Schneiderman’s speech. He noted several initiatives to bolster housing opportunities, such as the 38-unit Speonk Commons housing project in Speonk and a new director of Housing and Community Development.
Diana Weir was appointed director by a 3-2 vote by the Southampton Town Board at its regular meeting afterward. Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka voted against the appointment because of concerns about the cost of the new post.
As head the Office of Housing and Community Development, Weir is expected to help change the town’s accessory apartment regulations, which Schneiderman said would help create more owner-occupied accessory apartments in town.
These initiatives, Schneiderman said, were intended to create “safe, secure, affordable housing unavailable to the many of the men, women and children who are forced to seek substandard housing or who cannot afford to live in the community in which they were raised or are currently employed.”