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Mar 20, 2017 12:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Library Schedules Two More Informational Meetings Regarding $9.9M Bond

The Hampton Bays Library. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Mar 21, 2017 11:45 AM

The weather-related postponement of last week’s Hampton Bays Library bond referendum will provide district taxpayers will two additional opportunities to learn more about the $9.9 million project before heading to the polls on Tuesday, April 4.

The first informational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 26, from 1 to 3 p.m., and the second for Thursday, March 30, from 7 to 9 p.m.. Both meetings will take place in the main programming room at the Ponquogue Avenue facility.

Members of the library’s Board of Trustees will attend both meetings to answer questions from the public about the project, which calls for the complete gutting and renovation of the single-story building.

The proposed work calls for creating a completely new floor plan for the 20,000-square-foot library, as well as replacing its roof, adding insulation throughout the building, and installing an energy efficient heating and cooling system. Included in the projected costs is the proposed purchase of an adjoining half-acre lot at 3 Argonne Road for $390,000 and using the land to provide a few dozen additional parking spaces.

The project would be financed with a $9.9 million bond that could run for as long as 30 years and with an annual debt service of $646,000, according to Library Director Susan LaVista, who recently stressed that those terms have not yet been finalized.

If the bond is ultimately approved, the library tax rate would climb about 18 cents, to approximately 77 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an estimated 30-percent increase. Therefore, a person with a house assessed at $350,000 and now paying about $201 in library taxes can expect to pay an extra $64 a year for the length of the bond to finance the work.

Ms. LaVista said this week that the board is taking advantage of the delay to share more information with taxpayers. Prior to last week’s scheduled vote, the board held just one informational meeting, on March 7, at the library that attracted nearly two dozen people, with many questioning the project’s estimated costs and the lack of specific details being shared regarding the plan.

“It’s in response to a lot of questions about the project,” Ms. LaVista said. “So the board decided to schedule more meetings.”

Registered district taxpayers can vote on the $9.9 million bond referendum in the library’s main program room between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4.

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Wow I am glad we had a snow storm,the board has more to tell us,what about having the vote in June when the S birds are back.I will still be voting NO.All members of the board should live in Hampton Bays then the would be aware of the tax impact.See you all at the next meeting.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Mar 20, 17 2:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
I will be voting NO also. $10 million in principal - almost $10 million in debt service = total almost $20 million. How much will the far market value be when complete? I suspect materially less than $20 million. A big waste of money.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 17 3:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
I also will be voting a BIG NO! My local library helped me learn how to add. New Roof, New Heating and A&C. Purchasing of a house and new asphalt. Reconfiguration of first floor. All of these big ticket items equals to 9.9 million dollars? Are you kidding me? Does not add up. Lower the cost to around 2 million. Be reasonable!
By highhat2017 (2), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 17 3:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Agreed - the estimate was $1 million last year without the adjacent property. I would be the first on line to vote YES to that!
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 17 6:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
The neighborhood library is a signpost to prospective residents of the status of the community. The stats on the Hampton Bays' public school aren't the greatest. Add to that a refusal of the community to support their local library (You know, the whole literacy, knowledge thing.) and home purchasers will go elsewhere where the prospects for their children's nurture are better.

The odds are that this referendum will fail - - - Hampton Bays will continue to degrade - - - and the very people ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Mar 20, 17 7:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are certainly entitled to your opinion as you have thousands of them posted, but as a resident and taxpayer I am strongly opposed to this referendum. There less than 20% of the households that have children in the school district, but almost 80% of our taxes go to the schools THAT is going to continue to degrade Hampton Bays , not the lack of a building to house books and have yoga classes.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 17 7:53 PM
HHS, you think an overpriced library will be a benefit to HB? How so?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 17 11:48 PM
to dnice:

Neither the current proposal, nor the one that was voted down previously, were overpriced.

When couples are looking to purchase a home, there are a few indices that register with them in the decision making process. The first is how the neighborhood LOOKS, the second is the quality of the schools, and the third is how engaged the residents are in improving their community.

Hampton Bays, especially the Montauk corridor, doesn't look that great, and its school ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Mar 21, 17 1:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
You have a career in writing fiction!
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 21, 17 9:07 AM
I have to disagree. I have purchased 3 homes and never did I look to see if the condition of the library was up to snuff. Even if I agreed with everything else you said in regards to property values, I would still argue that the library has nothing to do with it. A useless increase in taxes, even if only 1%, is still a useless tax increase.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 1:04 PM
The problem isn't that people don't want to support the Library, it is that the Library is not forthcoming with the facts of how this money will be spent and the plan is vague at best. Show us where the money will go, what the costs are, and there will be support. The biggest problem with the Library proposal is the Library Board's presentation of it.

You are missing the point of the people who are voting no.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 2:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Can someone video the first information meeting? That way everyone can see and hear the Library Board's justification for this new addition to the local property tax.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 21, 17 7:54 AM
HHS, Seriously, what brings people to Hampton Bays? Do you really think people come to Hampton Bays for the library? Most of Hampton Bays is not full time residents raising their kids. If that were the case, the taxes would be 5 time as much and no one would be living here. The Library looks fine. If you want to talk eyesores, let's start with the eyesores on Montauk Highway including the Town owned properties, the illegally used motels and the overcrowded houses with cars and living room furniture ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 8:54 AM
2 members liked this comment
You forgot the beautiful development along the Gowanus (I mean Shinnecock) canal
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Mar 21, 17 11:41 AM
thank you captain sig, yes the let's add the eyesore formerly known as Canoe Place Inn. I suspect that those involved in the lawsuit are for the library. Anti-development unless it is public funds.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 12:23 PM
Isn't there a cheaper way to construct a place for homeless people to spend cold days?
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 21, 17 9:06 AM
Well said HHS.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 10:10 AM
HHS if Hampton Bays continues to go down hill I will have to move to East Quogue.Where is the library?
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Mar 21, 17 10:58 AM
Watchdog, as if you dont know. EQ has access to choose from 3 libraries (WH, RH, or HB) as their primary library.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 11:04 AM
Maybe you should drop 20mil and build one. High Hat says it will raise your prop values
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Mar 21, 17 11:42 AM
Excellent suggestion captain sig - let EQ build a Library and a High School. Then their taxes can be 20% of the fair market value of their homes and infoseeker and others can move to East Quogue.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 12:18 PM
To all opposed to the library project:

Do you think that we should not have a public library?
How much should a project like this cost?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Mar 21, 17 12:29 PM
Define Public Library.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 1:17 PM
A public library is a library that is accessible by the general public and is generally funded from public sources, such as taxes. It is operated by librarians and library paraprofessionals, who are also civil servants.

There are five fundamental characteristics shared by public libraries. The first is that they are generally supported by taxes (usually local, though any level of government can and may contribute); they are governed by a board to serve the public interest; they are open ...more
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Mar 21, 17 1:31 PM
great job of cut and paste from Wikipedia. Yes - we should have a Public Library - now compare that to the unnecessary programs that go on at the Hampton Bays Library - no we don't need that.

The Building is totally functionally. They reported $1 million would cover most costs to update the HVAC and fix the roof last year.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 1:49 PM
Did you expect adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp to come up with a new and unique definition for 'public library'...of course it came from wikipedia.

As for the 'unnecessary programs' can you give an example?

I think people are fine with trimming the cost - just help us understand how.
By dogfacejones (81), Southampton on Mar 21, 17 1:55 PM
I am not sure why those from Southampton are concerned about the Hampton Bays Library. This has been long journey for those that have followed this for more than two years. I personally have had enough, but I feel like that is what they want - they want to wear us down so we will give up. The size of the Library is adequate for the Library. The Library has programs that do not need to be in a building called a "Library" - yoga classes, chair yoga, crochet clubs, card playing. Probably 6-8 people ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 6:32 PM
3 members liked this comment
Remember, too, that it’s taxation without representation.

The Hampton Bays Library is an association library with self-appointed trustees, just like the Westhampton Library. The majority of people in our communities don’t know this. An elected official does not appoint the library trustees, the trustees appoint each other. Only 29% of LI association libraries continue to maintain self-appointed boards. (Only 6 of 19 Suffolk County association maintain self-appointed boards; ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Mar 21, 17 4:49 PM
I notice that wikapedia does not mention yoga, cooking, etc. or kids playing hours of video games every afternoon as the definition of a library.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 2:56 PM
Association libraries seem to have self-appointed library trustees. If you want to become regular civil service libraries like most of Suffolk County be prepared to pay higher salaries and benefits (including retirement benefits) and raisesto staff. At this time salaries are below the average in Suffolk County.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 7:00 PM
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 7:08 PM
I’m sorry but that is incorrect, Infoseeker. We’ve done our research.

Yes, association libraries were established back in the day with self-appointed boards. But for our locale the MAJORITY of association libraries have changed to ELECTED boards (not yelling, it’s for written emphasis): 4 of 5 Nassau County association libraries have elected boards, 13 of 19 Suffolk County association libraries have elected boards.

Next, relating to salaries, pensions, retirement: ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Mar 21, 17 8:46 PM
St, you certainly have done your homework. Thank you for the clarification and sharing this information.
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 9:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
To HB Proud: Don't let them wear you down. You're doing a great job. Great comments.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 9:27 PM
9.9 million is just the principle . Total cost over 30 years is 19+ million. Everyone who attends the two upcoming info meetings at the library should ask LaVista about the true cost for this boondoggle.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 21, 17 9:34 PM
I would like to know what the the effect will be on the annual operating budget- higher costs for more staff, maintenance, heat, electricity, snow plowing, landscaping, cleaning, parking lot maintenance- a bigger facility will cost more to operate per year, in addition to the cost of the capital expenditures. Anybody? LaVista? Beuller???
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Mar 22, 17 10:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
If Sandpebble is the general contractor, the bond authorization should be voted down. Local residents need some property tax relief.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Mar 22, 17 7:30 AM
Take note of the latest 27east EH article about Sandpebble. We don't all have the details of the contract, but the bottom line is that EH didn't use him and he still continues to want more money and have the EH waste more attorney fees.. I really hope the Library Board has not already signed a contract with this guy and then when the referendum fails, the taxpayers are going to be on the hook for a boatload of money. THAT is also a question for the Board...
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 9:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
To HB Proud, Could it be possible that the board could do such a thing? Maybe LaVista will tell us why we are dealing with Sandpebble. East Hampton taxpayers lost millions dealing with Sandpebble in legal costs and settlement to Sandpebble.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 1:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
At the last round of meeting (for the new building), the question was specifically asked of Ms. LaVista and the Board as to whether the (1) the construction management contract had been awarded to Sandpebble even though the vote had not taken place - the answer was yes and (2) whether it was awarded as part of a competitive bid process - they they did not respond....their silence was deafening. They should not have signed a contract with him, but they did sign a contract with the neighboring property ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 2:23 PM
They signed a contract to do what? How do you sign a contract when you need approval for the project? Perhaps Ms. LaVista and the Board shall be paying any fees since they took it upon themselves to sign a contract.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 2:54 PM
They agreed to purchase and the neighbor agreed to sell the adjacent property. Maybe "sign a contract" is not the correct term. Maybe it is a letter of understanding.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 17 3:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Lavista used the house purchase as an excuse to have the vote in the dead of winter. She said they had a contract to buy the house with a time constraint therefore had to have the vote in March. Baloney. The owner will sell that dump at the very high price offered by the board no matter how long it takes.. THE REASON FOR THE WINTER VOTE: SNOWBIRDS. The board is afraid the taxpayers who are out of town for the winter will vote no. The library has a core vote of their employees, relatives and ...more
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 23, 17 5:17 PM
THE ACTUAL PRICE TAG IS 20 MILLION DOLLARS, NOT 10 MILLION. Make Lavista and the board tell the truth at the next meeting. The Southamton Press should print the true on the front page.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Mar 23, 17 5:34 PM
Yes, that is correct. People are not taking into consideration that this 10 million dollar bond does not include the 30 years worth of interest. It will be 20 million and it doesn't take 20 million to fix a roof, repair a roof or to replace a roof. The library board is not elected, but appointed, and they are trying to get this passed before the snow birds return.
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Mar 27, 17 11:53 AM
I purchased 2 homes on the east end of long island and at no time did I feel the need to check out the condition of a library before making the decision to buy or not. Honestly, the rental market has tanked and no amount of work that goes into a library is going to change that market.
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Mar 27, 17 11:58 AM