Report Bridgehampton CAC meeting of September 26,2011

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BACKGROUND

The following summarized public notice appeared in the September 15 issue of the Southampton Press: “Notice of special election Bridgehampton Fire District on October 18, 2011.  A special election  will be held at the Firehouse, 64 School Street, Bridgehampton  between 6PM and 9PM . Voters eligible to vote  in elections within the fire district may vote  at this time. “

Proposition Summarized: Shall the bond resolution of the Bridgehampton Fire District, adopted September 7, 2011 authorizing the acquisition of a parcel located at 2339  Montauk Highway (Present location of Pulver Gas)   $3,900,000 including financing through a 25 year bond paid for by additional tax levies from taxpayers of the fire district be approved.  A public hearing is reported scheduled for  Friday October 14 at 5:00 PM on this issue.

Following is a  CAC report on this issue following the September 26, 2011 meeting:

Mr. Halsey presented the following Press Release :

Purchase of Pulver Property Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY

The Bridgehampton Fire District has entered into a contract to purchase the neighboring Pulver Gas Property for the sum of $3,900,000.00. An informational meeting will take place at the Bridgehampton Fire Department on Friday October 14th at 6PM. A special public vote to approve the purchase will take place at the Bridgehampton Fire department on Tuesday, October 18th from 6 to 9 pm. All registered voters in the Bridgehampton Fire District are eligible to vote .

Plans for the property, if purchase is approved, have not been made as Pulver Gas will maintain their existing lease at the location for two years. However future use will be for the Bridgehampton Fire Department as the Fire Department has out grown its current facilities  and the opportunity to purchase this adjoining property with access to Montauk Highway could not be declined by the District.

Any further questions should be addressed at the public meeting on October 14th.

A thorough presentation was made by the commissioners on the proposal. A sense of urgency was emphasized by them for fear  the property might be purchased by another party. The Commissioners stated they had signed a purchase contract in July of 2011, the expiration date to be upon completion of the October 18 vote and closing to follow on December 15, 2011 pending a positive vote result on October 18.

Comments and questions from members of the CAC followed the presentation:

First: The CAC members present expressed  their complete support for the Fire Department and their unanimous gratitude for its volunteer members’ services to the Fire District community over many  years.

Second:  It was the sense of the CAC that the Commissioners should undertake a longer period of public information and discussion – beyond  that offered  in the press release –   before a vote on the purchase of the Pulver property is registered  by the voters. The CAC felt that the press release’s  single planned public hearing followed by a vote four days later offered too short a period for public consideration prior to the voters’ commitment either way. The CAC  opined that the Commissioners would be well served,  prior to  any public meetings,   to submit  general plans for the uses of the expanded property, including  estimates for the execution of those plans, as well as the costs involved in the purchase.

Third:  In the opinion of the CAC the commissioners’ chances for a positive vote by the fire district eligible voters would benefit by full disclosure of the liabilities taxpayers of the fire district could expect to face  from the purchase as well as the liabilities from future construction of facilities.

Following a full and open discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

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