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Sep 8, 2016 12:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Coalition Formed Supporting Use Of Community Preservation Funds For Water Quality Issues

50 local civic groups have come together to support using Community Preservation Fund money for water quality issues, a proposition that will be on November's ballot. BY ERIN MCKINLEY
Sep 11, 2016 12:46 PM

Nearly four dozen East End environmental, civic and business groups are teaming up to help spread the word—and drum up public support—for a proposition appearing on November’s ballot that seeks to use as much as 20 percent of future Community Preservation Fund proceeds to protect the region’s ground and surface waters.

The Clean Water and Community Preservation Committee officially launched at a press conference held behind Riverhead’s Main Street last Thursday morning and includes groups from all five East End towns—Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island. Those represented included the Amagansett Springs Aquifer Protection Association, the East Quogue Civic Association, Group for the East End and the Peconic Baykeeper, among others.

The goal of the group is to raise awareness of the proposition that, if approved by voters, will allow towns to set aside a portion of their CPF money to address water quality issues, not just land preservation. The upgrading and replacement of septic systems are expected to be a main use for the allocated funding—estimated to total between $10 million and $12 million annually in Southampton Town alone.

The proposition also seeks approval of extending the CPF, now set to expire in 2030, by an additional 20 years, until 2050. The CPF is funded by a 2-percent tax on most real estate transactions and is presently used to protect open space, as well as agricultural and recreational resources.

“Today, we feel an expansion of this CPF has just as much hope as it did when we started 20 years ago,” Group for The East End President Bob DeLuca said at the press conference. “We see it as an initiative that will launch other efforts for water preservation because, as you know, our water is in deep trouble, and it is time to get moving on specific action.”

To date, roughly 10,000 acres of open space have already been preserved across the East End using CPF money. The November referendum, which will appear on the back of the general election ballot, will ask voters to allow as much as 20 percent of fund’s revenues to also be used for water quality projects.

Several local politicians were present at the coalition launch, including State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., and Kevin McDonald, conservation project director for public lands with The Nature Conservancy.

“I am confident that with the past support for the CPF, that once again the voters of East Hampton will step up and vote for the preservation of the environment,” Mr. Cantwell said.

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Photo op, again
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 8, 16 1:10 PM
Good measure. Deserves everyone's support. The CPF is all about water anyway. The lands intended to be preserved under the CPF are worthy of preservation principally because of the ground water over which they sit or the surface water which they affect, or both. A water quality measure therefore goes to the essence of the CPF and is thus wholly appropriate.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 8, 16 1:46 PM
is this 100% accurate?

if this is the case I dont think that many residents are clearly informed of the purpose of the CPF.

IMO the CPF is great.
Though i dont get why people should have to create a special fun to keep our most precious resources clean and accessible.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Sep 8, 16 7:14 PM
Not exactly... the statement is true, but there's more to CPF. The fund, of course, stands for "community preservation" and thus preserves properties that are important to the community.

This includes purchasing development rights from farmers to ensure land remains used for agriculture, buying historic sites and buildings to preserve the areas rich cultural and historic history and preserving lands that provide important vistas and viewsheds (including parcels along Dune Road and Montauk ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 9, 16 9:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
Upgrading some one's septic system is not part of what people voted for the CPF for. If a home owner lives with in 1000 ft of a body of water they can afford to upgrade their septic system. This is a subsidy for wealthy waterfront homeowners. Not about preservation. Another proposed use for the CPF was to aid school districts that was voted down as well.
There is already a law on the books called the CLEAN WATER ACT, that mandates that municipalities keep pollution out of surface waters. The ...more
By AL (83), southampton on Sep 8, 16 6:50 PM
3 members liked this comment
Biggest problem with CPF is that you need "WILLING SELLERS"
If you can't negotiate a deal in a hot real estate market, you're out of luck.

Meanwhile--borrowing rates are at historical lows. We're seeing NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES in some European banks (you pay the bank to hold your money)

Put an environmental bond referendum on the Nov ballot (too late for this year).
Raise a pile of money, and use the powers of eminent domain to target and acquire environmentally sensitive ...more
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Sep 9, 16 6:59 AM
The CPF should go away but it will not. Too many people with pet projects. They should start a massive relocation process to move people off the East End(joke). This will create mandates that once again burden the people. If you think the upgrading of septic systems will be easy in this town, forget it. What is easy in this town?. Surveys, fees, CO issues, upgrades will all be brought into play. Just another way for the Town to invade your life.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Sep 9, 16 8:46 AM
OK, adlk etc., let's go at it another way. How much do you think any open space would be worth preserving if the ground water underneath it were compromised? How much do you think any waterfront open space would be worth preserving if the water on which it fronted -- say, a creek -- were choked with nitrogen-fed algae and/or polluted with septic effluent?

Water quality is a basic premise, a threshold requirement, of CPF eligibility. Its degradation is also a major problem facing Southampton ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 9, 16 9:48 AM
OK, adlk etc., let's go at it another way. How much do you think any open space would be worth preserving if the ground water underneath it were compromised? How much do you think any waterfront open space would be worth preserving if the water on which it fronted -- say, a creek -- were choked with nitrogen-fed algae and/or polluted with septic effluent?

Water quality is a basic premise, a threshold requirement, of CPF eligibility. Its degradation is also a major problem facing Southampton ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 9, 16 9:48 AM
The biggest problem with this TB is that it is yet another case of privatizing profits while socializing costs. Kinda like the bailout of Wall Street.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Sep 10, 16 1:47 AM
Or Medicare. Or Social Security. Or food stamps. Or veterans' benefits. Every time we have a program to help our fellow citizens who need help, we create a special class of those fellow citizens who are eligible for the program. We have universal programs. like police, defense, postal service and highways that benefit everyone, and then we have these other programs that benefit a designated class. That's how it works.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 10, 16 2:59 PM
Somehow I have a hard time with the analogy of comparing people living on food stamps with people who have waterfront houses in the Hamptons. I repeat, it's more in keeping with the bailout of Wall Street.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Sep 10, 16 7:26 PM
Seems as if this proposal opens the door to all sorts of shennagins , there are not enough specifics the way it's worded.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 10, 16 7:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
https://www.epa.gov/beach-tech/beach-grants

WE have not even gotten to the point of notifying the public about toxic ponds and maintaining them properly, Agawam, Old Town, Sag Pond Georgica pond are all polluted by run of from roads and lawns. There are laws on the books that the Town need s to enforce.

By AL (83), southampton on Sep 11, 16 9:30 AM
https://www.epa.gov/beach-tech/beach-grants

WE have not even gotten to the point of notifying the public about toxic ponds and maintaining them properly, Agawam, Old Town, Sag Pond Georgica pond are all polluted by run of from roads and lawns. There are laws on the books that the Town need s to enforce.

By AL (83), southampton on Sep 11, 16 10:15 AM
The inequities between Riverhead which has all the land to preserve and East Hampton and Southampton with all the income is the real tragedy here.

Riverhead has 10 times the acreage yet receives 1/16th what EH & Southampton bring in. Mr. Thiele needs to address this.

$673 Million over the life of the CPF so far from EH & SH. $41 Million goes to Riverhead. Bad legislation plain and simple. Forget water quality.
By Dr. No (2), aquebogue on Sep 15, 16 11:52 AM
The Money should be used for county/town Gov'ts to create more detention ponds to collect surface runoff from roads and parking lots to let water settle out pollutants instead of draining directly into surface waters. The State/County Engineers should consider studying using/requiring septic tanks to filter out the solids and use horizontal shallow leach fields using various perforated pipes/structures releasing water further away from the water table and spreading over longer/wider areas. Current ...more
By csims (3), Southampton,NY on Sep 15, 16 12:07 PM