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Sep 28, 2018 3:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Expects To Receive Official Proposal From SCWA Next Week

VALERIE GORDON
Sep 30, 2018 11:59 AM

The Southampton Town Board is expected to receive a proposal from the Suffolk County Water Authority next week—two weeks after originally anticipated—for the county-owned entity taking over the day-to-day operations of the Hampton Bays Water District

Last month, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman explained that the proposal would offer a breakdown of water consumption costs, as well as a previously unexpected cost—which he again declined to disclose this week—to upgrade and improve the hamlet’s outdated water system infrastructure. Those upgrades include sandblasting and repainting the district’s water tanks to avoid rusting through, as well as installing a $2.6 million iron and manganese filtration system, backup generators, and electric meters.

"It should be sent over next week," SCWA spokesperson Tim Motz said on Friday.

Once the proposal is received, Mr. Schneiderman said that the Town Board would likely hold two public meetings—the first in October and the second in November—to discuss the details with the community.

“And then it will be largely up to the public to advise the Town Board if it believes that having SCWA manage the district would be beneficial,” he said. “I think the residents will be interested in hearing the proposal.”

On Friday, Mr. Schneiderman estimated that the board could make a decision on the proposal by early next year.

He added that his main concerns remain to be health, cost, and the assurance that all of the district’s employees would keep their jobs. In a previous interview with the authority’s CEO, Jeff Szabo, he said that the SCWA was prepared to absorb the district’s 13 full-time employees and office staff.

Currently, district customers using 3,500 cubic feet, or 26,182 gallons, of water per quarter pay a total of $44.80 per quarter, whereas that same amount used by a SCWA customer costs $46.72.

Additionally, Hampton Bays homeowners are charged, on average, an annual fee of $155 per household on their tax bill.

Mr. Schneiderman noted that there was the potential that the proposal would be on par with the hamlet’s current water arrangement. But, “until we see it, we won't know.”

As of now, he said that he is still constantly fielding complaints from Hampton Bays residents regarding discolored tap water and water pressure issues.

“People are concerned,” he said. “They're not sure it’s safe to drink the tap water. That, to me, in of itself says that they lack confidence in the purity of the system.”

Hamlet residents Dena Janesh and Shelley Borkoski, who recently worked together to form a community group called “Hampton Bays Clean Water,” have repeatedly voiced their concerns and have pushed the Town Board to move forward with allowing the SCWA to gain control of the water district.

However, not everyone is on board. The district’s superintendent, Robert King, has openly opposed the merger, noting that he would hate to see the people of Hampton Bays lose one of the few locally-owned entities they have left.

Still, Mr. Schneiderman was quick to point out this week that as commissioners of the water district, the Town Board reserves the right to make the final decision.

“That decision isn’t up to the employees. They work for the town,” he said. “If the town wants to change the management structure, that’s something we reserve the right to do.”

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We need to do this, but we also need some assurances that our rates are not going to skyrocket.
By HamptonDad (222), Hampton Bays on Oct 1, 18 10:02 AM
The water rates in HB are far more likely to skyrocket if we don't let SCWA take it over. As mentioned in the article, for years the leadership of the HBWD has failed to perform required maintenance and upgrades to our water system. And at the same time we were paying more for water than SCWA charges. Evey year that we stay with the HBWD , we lose more money. Our water infrastructure is in such bad shape right now that the SCWA won't even consider taking it over unless we fix it first. We need ...more
By Bayman (55), Hampton Bays on Oct 2, 18 9:13 AM
Read the article above, a les that’s $2 difference in the price.

Come to the Public Meetings in October and November to hear the truth. How will the situation be repaired and how much will it cost.

Come and hear facts.
By Red Flag (42), HamptonBays on Oct 2, 18 8:57 PM
Whats the difference in costs to the consumer when you consider deferred maintenance? Repairing the tanks, mains and other major items will need to be paid for in the fees to consumers.
By Baymen87 (128), Lugoff, SC on Oct 8, 18 8:36 AM
Not only will the rates go up, but you can forget about an immediate reply to any problems you have with the service or the equipment.
By Resident tax (174), Hampton bays ny on Oct 1, 18 10:55 AM
Read the article above and read the facts about the water rates.
The price difference is very small.

Immediate reply to any problems? Black water since July is not an immediate reply. I feel sorry for the households and businesses with black water for 3 months.
By Red Flag (42), HamptonBays on Oct 2, 18 9:00 PM
My water bills are absurdly inexpensive. My family takes long showers, washes our ugly polluting vehicles, frequently uses the dishwasher/washing machine and sprays potable water all over our wasteful lawn. Our water bill is always under $50 for three months (not including douchey bottled drinking water). IMHO -- municipal water rates on the south form are way too low.
By Aeshtron (326), Southampton on Oct 1, 18 11:58 AM
Yes our water rates are extremely low here.
By Red Flag (42), HamptonBays on Oct 2, 18 9:13 PM
Resident tax, where are you getting your information about

An immediate reply to any problems with SCWA.... now people in H Bays have had black water since July 4!!! Is that an immediate reply to a problem?

Rates go up...read the posts here...the rates are so low and can easily be increased within reason for all households.
And the cost of needed improvements due to not maintaining equipment and not updating equipment can be expensive and the town can obtain a bond that ...more
By Red Flag (42), HamptonBays on Oct 2, 18 8:50 PM
THE H B Water employees will keep their jobs. This is not about them being not appreciated. We appreciate their work and efforts. We appreciate Mr. King and his many civic activities that have helped our community. He will keep his job.

The infrastructure should have been updated ages ago. Let’s fix the problem and move forward.
No more opinion not based on facts. Face the situation and let’s fix it.
By Red Flag (42), HamptonBays on Oct 2, 18 8:55 PM
THE H B Water employees will keep their jobs. This is not about them being not appreciated. We appreciate their work and efforts. We appreciate Mr. King and his many civic activities that have helped our community. He will keep his job.

The infrastructure should have been updated ages ago. Let’s fix the problem and move forward.
No more opinion not based on facts. Face the situation and let’s fix it.
By Red Flag (42), HamptonBays on Oct 2, 18 8:55 PM
Mr. Depalma can I drop grandmas water bill off to your house when it sky rockets and nothing changes? Thanks she is on a fixed income and u wanna chase her out. Hopefully one day I’ll find your address out so I can send a bill for all the extra money you will cause my grandmother to cough up
By watchoutnow968 (52), Southampton on Oct 6, 18 7:46 PM
Drive-in movies,Coopers Beach, Southampton village