Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell recently attended the first meeting of a group of Suffolk County town and village officials looking to find ways to reduce costs by consolidating services.
The Countywide Shared Services Panel will assemble monthly to explore ways to save money through coordination of services, such as those related to public works, as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Shared Services Initiative, which was signed into law earlier this month.
If municipalities can show savings as a result of combined services, they can apply for matching grant funds from the state. Mr. Russell said it’s not clear how those funds would be distributed and asked whether a larger town that documents greater savings would get more of the matching funds.
The initiative is not compulsory, the supervisor said, but he will continue to participate “just in case.”
“I suspect a lot of what they’re looking for towns are already doing,” Mr. Russell said. “I don’t mean to sound defensive, but there’s a lot of cooperation among the villages and the towns already.”
DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS PURCHASES
The Southold Town Board on Tuesday approved the use of Community Preservation Funds to the purchase development rights easements for two properties, for a total acquisition of about 43 acres.
A 23-acre property on Depot Lane in Cutchogue is being purchased for nearly $1.45 million, or $63,000 per buildable acre, according to a resolution approving the purchase. The land, part of a 35.5-acre parcel, is owned by the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart.
The second property, 20 acres of a 22-acre parcel on County Road 48 in Southold, will be bought for $971,360. It is listed on the town’s Community Preservation project plan as a property that should be preserved due to its agricultural value and its value as an aquifer recharge area.
Both acquisitions are located in the A-C zoning district, according to the Town Board’s resolutions.