Greenport mayor recommends capital improvement projects

12/21/2010 9:03 PM |

On Monday, Greenport Mayor David Nyce gave Village Board members a list of five capital improvement projects he is recommending for future development. The list was not made public and won’t be until January to give trustees a chance to consider the items, the mayor said at the board’s Monday work session.

Not on the list, Mr. Nyce said, are the two major utilities projects already under way — the wastewater treatment plant and upgrades to the electric department plant.

With money tight, all five projects can’t be started next year, Mr. Nyce said. Instead, he is asking the Village Board to prioritize the list and, in 2011, he said, he and the trustees will begin to explore possible sources of funding.

In an effort to save money, Trustee Michael Osinski said he would explore the possibility of seeking loans for the village privately instead of through the public bond market.

He said individuals or corporations might be willing to lend the village $3 million to $4 million to pay down its debt at a more reasonable rate than it might cost the village to refinance with a traditional loan.

The village owes more than $7 million, some of which will be paid between now and 2014. But Greenport would face a difficult time paying the remaining debt without some form of refinancing, Mr. Osinksi said.

It has been a long process, but Friends of Mitchell Park — a trust charged with administering money left by Pauline Mitchell in her will for park maintenance and activities — has finally obtained tax-exempt status to accept contributions. The announcement was made by village attorney Joseph Prokop, who was then finally willing to identify the trust’s board members. They are village residents Teresa Taylor, Rosemary Gabriel, William Price Jr., Jerry Tuthill and Lynn Loveless.

Besides making decisions on how money might be used to benefit the park, the trust also can apply for grants that could benefit park development but are not available to municipalities, Mr. Nyce said.

Village Board members are expected to act Monday night, Dec. 27, on three proposed parking and traffic regulations.
One would make it illegal to park at fire hydrants or in spaces reserved for handicapped individuals. A second would extend from

10 to 30 minutes the time allotted at certain marked parking spaces in downtown and limit parking to two hours in other downtown areas. The third would make Webb Street west of First Street a one-way road heading west.

Mr. Osinski told fellow board members he thinks two hour spaces should be changed to four or six hours. He also suggested that the parking regulations be enforced only during summer and early fall months when parking is tight in downtown.

“We need to enforce our parking,” Mr. Osinski said. But two-hour limits could be too tight for visitors who might come to the village to skate, shop and eat, he said.

He also suggested use of meters to control parking during the summer. Assuming the resolutions pass, the board would next address how to enforce parking limits.

Mr. Osinski wants to know exactly how much the East End Seaport Museum and Maritime Foundation made from leasing public space to vendors during the annual Maritime Festival in September. It’s not the first time he has asked for the figures and he suggested Monday night that the organization’s board is ignoring the request,

Village clerk Sylvia Lazzari Pirillo, who serves on the seaport board, said that’s not the case. Financials are still being tabulated, with some bills still outstanding.

To avoid a conflict of interest for Ms. Pirillo, village treasurer Charlene Kagel said she would follow up with seaport board members to get the requested information.

Bow hunting for deer in Moore’s Woods may be permitted in the future. Noting the proliferation of deer on the North Fork, Mr. Nyce is asking Village Board members to consider whether to give bow hunters access to Moore’s Woods to try to thin the herd. He pointed out that meat from the deer bow hunters take from public lands is prepared for distribution to shelters and food pantries that provide sustenance for people in need.
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