A proposal from Superintendent Alex Gregor to reallocate funds designated for the repair of Noyac Road led to some disagreements between him and members of the town board at a work session on Friday. Nevertheless, the board ultimately decided to allow it as long as the funds are deducted from next year's highway budget.
The funds in question are $480,000, which were borrowed earlier this year and earmarked for the reconfiguration of a curve in Noyac Road near Cromer's Market, a project that has been in the works since at least 2004. It is currently not expected to move forward this year because the town would need to either purchase or condemn the property currently occupied by the market and negotiations are ongoing. In addition, a consensus with the community regarding the project has not yet been reached.
Gregor asked board members if the funds could be reallocated for the repaving of Big Fresh Pond and Shrubland Roads, as well as Noyac Path, all of which are in dire need, according to Vince Galdiero, the owner of Paving Services Inc, a consultant who also spoke at the meeting. Galdiero noted that asphalt prices are particularly low now, so it would make financial sense to repave those roads as soon as possible.
During the meeting, board members said they were reluctant to abandon the Noyac Road project for another year, even though there was no question that the three other roads were in need of being repaved.
“My opinion on this is that while we would love to repave every road we could, it's clear that these moneys were bonded for a different project,” Councilman Jim Malone, C-Hampton Bays, said. “In my opinion we just can't afford it.”
“I have to say I concur with you Mr. Malone,” said Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, I-Sag Harbor. “I would have a hard time saying, 'Sorry, Noyac, we're taking this money and using it elsewhere, and we'll see when we can get back to you.'”
As the meeting progressed, Throne-Holst said she would like to see a long-term plan from Gregor's office detailing when the Noyac Road project will be able to move forward, and how the three other roads to be repaved will fit into the plan. Ultimately, she and the other board members agreed that at some point the board will have to “pull the trigger” on the Noyac Road project.
She told Gregor the board would only allow him to repave the other three roads when a resolution was passed stating that the $480,000 was to be deducted from the 2012 budget and the Noyac Road project would be encumbered in that budget.