Local business owners, elected leaders and school officials addressed Mattituck Chamber of Commerce members Wednesday night and discussed several topics, including land use, finances and tourism. Here are some of the highlights:
Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell’s news that a bank has expressed interest in moving into the vacant building on Route 25 received praise from attendees, who described the current state of the property as an eye sore.
The building has been fenced in since work stalled in 2009 on construction of a Hudson City Savings Bank branch at the site.
While Mr. Russell didn’t disclose which bank was eyeing the property, he said he believes a new bank will move in “very soon.”
Mattituck School District Superintendent Anne Smith was also a guest speaker at the dinner event and discussed how she’s collaborating with David Gamberg, superintendent of both the Greenport and Southold school districts, to share services and cut costs.
“It’s not just about efficiencies,” she said. “It’s about finding ways to provide more opportunities for students.”
Ms. Smith said residents are also looking into starting an educational foundation to help support school programs.
Southold school district residents recently launched the Southold School Educational Foundation, a nonprofit group that acts like a booster club to raise funds for enhanced learning opportunities in the district.
Abigail Field, the new director of the North Fork Promotion Council and its tourism website gonorthfork.org, said her group is planning events for the last two weeks in April.
Ms. Field said some of the ideas include having Clovis Point Wines organize a wine event featuring artifacts from the Southold Indian Museum and Noah’s restaurant would offer a prix-fixe menu and invite a representative from the Oysterponds Historical Society to talk about the notorious Wickham ax murders.
Mattituck Park District Commissioner Russell Williamson discussed how his group is grappling with the expense of maintaining the parking lot on Pike Street.
He said the park district purchased it in the 1940s for $3,400 and is now looking for someone else to take it over.
“We’re in the park business, not the parking lot business,” he said, adding that the park district isn’t equipped to maintain the lot in a cost-effective manner.
Mr. Russell hinted that the town may be interested in taking it off the park district’s hands and said the town has the resources to maintain the property at a lower cost because it already has the equipment and staff.
“Southold is very motivated in making sure it stays a parking lot,” he said.