Supervisor Russell: Southold Town in ‘good shape’

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Supervisor Scott Russell delivers his "State of the Town" address Tuesday night.

Saying difficult financial decision were made to keep spending in check, Supervisor Scott Russell declared that the town fiscally sound and so declared the state of the town as “good.”

“Money is not rolling in, folks,” Mr. Russell said during his State of the Town address Thursday evening, his third such address. “Times are tough, but I think we’ve battened down the hatches and are in good shape.”

Mr. Russell touched on a number of topics during his address, which he divided into what he described as town accomplishments in 2011 and goals for 2012.

On the accomplishment side, he listed the adoption of the town’s first noise ordinance.

“I grew up in a town that didn’t need a noise code, but times have changed,” the supervisor said.

The town had ordered sound meters and is training personnel in their use to follow what he called “reasonable standards.”

On planning, he noted the completion of the economic, community character and parks  and recreation chapters of the continuing comprehensive plan update. Last year the town spent $8.7 million on farmland and open space preservation.

Although town revenues are down, so are land prices, the supervisor added. “Now is not the time to be skittish on land preservation,” he said.

Among the objectives he listed for this year are maintaining a high municipal bond rating, and implementing a new fuel and vehicle maintenance system. The collective value of all town vehicles approaches $10 million, he said.

Turning to business and economics, Mr. Russell pledged to appoint a town liaison to the business community and to launch a “listening tour” to learn of  their concerns.

He added that the redesigned town website, which he said will be more attractive and user-friendly, should be up by June.

Mr. Russell also said he’s investigating tapping into a local student video program to made better use of the Channel 22 education channel “so you don’t have to look at the same board meetings over and over again.”

See Thursday’s Suffolk Times for additional coverage.