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October date set for vote to incorporate East Quogue as a village

The proposed East Quogue Village would border Quogue

The proposed East Quogue Village would border Quogue Village to the west and extend to the Atlantic Ocean. The vote will be held Oct. 17.   Photo Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

East Quogue residents will vote next month on whether they want to be an incorporated village, and if the measure passes become the first one created on Long Island since 2010.

The Oct. 17 vote was announced Wednesday by Southampton Town officials. The proposed East Quogue Village would border Quogue Village to the west and extend to the Atlantic Ocean.

Members of the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee spearheaded the movement to host a vote and have said issues such as the approval of a controversial proposed 118-unit community and golf course once known as The Hills would be handled better with local control.

“It [incorporation] is high time and it is a must in order to protect our residents and our taxes,” said Karen Kooi, a committee co-chair.

The golf course community, which is in an environmentally sensitive groundwater protection area and included a financial incentive package for the community, was initially rejected by the town board in 2017. A revised version is before the town planning board, and should that application be denied, developers could file a new proposal with the potential East Quogue Village.

Members of the East Quogue Civic Association, which opposes incorporation efforts as well as the golf course proposal, said they will campaign against becoming a village.

“They [committee members] act like it’s done,” said civic association president Al Algieri. “But I think we surpassed them in the amount of people who are opposed to them.”

A draft budget for operating the village calls for spending $584,000 in 2020, with the owner of property worth $500,000 paying about $40 in additional property taxes that year.

The exploratory committee first submitted an incorporation petition to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman in April, although it was later rejected due to a technicality. The group amended the petition in July and it was approved by Schneiderman in August.

East Quogue would be the first Long Island village created since Mastic Beach incorporated in 2010. Mastic Beach dissolved in 2017 amid a projected tax spike, political infighting and federal discrimination lawsuits.

Committee members have said they envision a model based on Sagaponack Village, which incorporated in 2005 and holds intermunicipal agreements with the town to provide police, highway department and other services.

The vote will be held from noon to 9 p.m. at the East Quogue Elementary School. Each resident qualified to vote for town officers may vote in the election, although the law does not allow absentee voting, according to the town.

A list of eligible voters will be available Oct. 11 at Town Hall. Anyone whose name is not on the list but is qualified to vote may ask that their name be added. Only those on the registration list can vote.

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