At the Southampton Village board meeting Thursday night:
-- The board of trustees voted to change village ordinances to allow the village to prosecute public urination and defecation cases in its own court. This was to avoid having the offense be cited as a disorderly conduct, which is in the penal code and must then be tried in state courts.
-- The board discussed a recommendation by the village building inspector to prohibit the use of pile drivers from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Charles Guilloz, a builder who lives in Southampton, asked the board to reconsider, since it would place an unfair burden on construction workers who need to work in the summer. He said that many times the ground is too frozen in the bad weather to drive piles for homes, and necessary paperwork from the town, village and state Department of Conservation makes scheduling that much harder. A resident said that the noise of pile-driving goes on all summer. The trustees decided to ask the village building inspector why he recommended the change in law.
-- The board set an April 14 public hearing to consider banning the use of plastic bags in the village by retail stores or other businesses. Personal use, such as at garage sales, would be excluded. Paper bags will be allowed.
-- The board discussed the ongoing issue as to whether a piece of land known as Alrich Lane Park on North Sea Road in the village should be leased to a local farmer. The 5.7-acre property was bought by the town under its town Community Preservation Plan. Under the plan before the board, the farmer would put aside a half-acre for community farming. Although for the idea of a farm in general, Trustee Bonnie Cannon suggested the village look back at the original plans for the site, since she thought it might have been originally slated as a recreational area for the community. “It was a need that was not met,” Cannon said.
-- Trustee Cannon invited public to the unveiling of the new signs outside the East End African Museum on North Sea Road at 2:45 p.m. on March 28.
-- The board decided to send a letter to Southampton Town to consider fixing drainage problems there that are affecting North Main Street while the county is widening County Road 39.
-- The Southampton Garden Club proposed plans to plant 16 mature pink cherry trees along the inside perimeter of the Agawam Lake Park. The club members said it was part of the Garden Clubs of America’s Centennial 2013 Plant a Tree commemoration. The club will bear the cost. More discussion will take place on the issue with the Garden Club.