Southampton Board Passes $85 Million Budget; Rejects Funding for Dune Road Project

Taxes remain flat in the 2014 budget.

Credit: File photo
Credit: File photo
The Town of Southampton passed a near $85 million budget on Wednesday, but in doing so rejected funding for two proposed projects — the raising of Dune Road and a septic tank upgrade rebate program.

During the meeting, board members rejected putting aside $2 million for a proposed $7 million raising of Dune Road saying that it is a project that is anticipated to be funded through Federal Sandy Funds.

In late October, the town submitted an application the the Federal Government for the $7 million needed for the reconstruction of Dune Road, which is prone to flooding and was breached during Hurricane Sandy, but Councilman Christopher Nuzzi, who put forth the town budget spending resolution, said that the Federal money might not come through.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, however, argued that if the money is not forthcoming, the town can also revisit the spending proposal.

"You have my commitment that if the money is not coming in the next six months, we will revisit this," she said.

In addition to rejecting the Dune Road funding, board members also put aside a proposal by Councilwoman Bridget Fleming provide $500,00 toward a fund that provides rebates to residents who choose to upgrade their septic systems.

Throne-Holst, however, said that while it is a good program, it is not prudent to provide additional funding to it at this time.

With the two proposals rejected, the $84.9 million budget increases overall spending from last year by $2 million with major increases due to contractual salary increases and pension costs, according to Leonard J. Marchese, the town's comptroller.

Though there is a spending increase, the tax levy remains flat, according to Marchese, who said that for each $1,000 of assessed value, taxpayers will be paying $1.4216, which is slighting up from last year's amount of $1.4123.

The number is different, Marchese said because assessed evaluations have declined in the town as a result of Sandy and homeowner tax challenges.


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