Government: Pagano To Retire, Funding for Sag Harbor Golf Course, Water Quality Improvements

A call to Sag Harbor Village Police last week prompted a massive police response. File photo

Pagano To Retire from Village Police Force

Two new officers will soon sport Sag Harbor Village Police badges, another officer has resigned and a sergeant has announced his upcoming retirement.

Sergeant Thomas Pagano, who has been recognized multiple times as the Sag Harbor Village Police Department’s “Top Cop for DWI Arrests,” will retire in December. He was given permission by the village board last week to go on leave using accrued time off beginning June 28. Sgt. Pagano has been with the village 30 years. The exact date of his retirement has not been disclosed. His announcement follows the retirement of police officer Pat Milazzo, who has been with the village since 1997.

The village board last week also approved the appointment of Kelly Kampf as a full-time officer and the appointment of Scott Frankenbach as a part-time officer. Ms. Kampf has nine years of experience, including five years as a deputy sheriff in Horry County, South Carolina, and four years as a deputy sheriff in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was also a deputy director of public safety in the Town of East Hampton, and recently graduated from the Suffolk County Police Academy. Mr. Frankenbach is also a part-time police officer in Quogue and is a full-time code enforcement officer for Southampton Town.

The board also accepted the immediate resignation of officer Ronan Seltenrich, who will be headed to Quogue.

“We’re trying to bring good people on,” Police Chief Austin J. McGuire said. “Kelly is a home-run with all of her experience. I don’t think the learning curve will be that great for her. Scott is also very experienced. It seems like it’s a lot because it’s a small department and it’s all at one time, but it’s the nature of the business and it’s cyclical. I have a lot of great people here and we’re going to do the best we can. Change can be good.”

Water Testing Stations Being Installed

The Sag Harbor Harbor Committee on Monday announced that the first of five water testing stations that are going to be put in place this season along the village waterfront has been installed. Workers with Dr. Christopher Gobler, a marine biologist with Stony Brook University, put in the first station at the dock of the Sag Harbor Yacht Club last Thursday.

John Shaka, the Harbor Committee’s chairman, said four more stations will be in place before Memorial Day weekend: one at Havens Beach; one outside the breakwater; one at Ship Ashore Marina; and one at the private dock of Herb Sambol, the committee’s alternate member.

Mr. Shaka said having three of the stations attached to docks would make them more accessible to the scientists monitoring them.

The $52,000 project has been jointly funded by Sag Harbor Village, the East Hampton and Southampton town trustees as well as the Yacht Club, the Sag Harbor Partnership, the Cove Marinas, the Breakwater Yacht Club, the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard, Roger Lew, Mr. Gambol and Myron and Sue Levine.

The stations will measure things like temperature, salinity, pH levels and dissolved oxygen levels. Village officials say the testing, which will run through the season, will help establish a baseline of water quality. The data will be valuable as the village seeks funding for future water-quality projects.

State Funding for Golf Course Upgrades

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced this week that the Sag Harbor Golf Course and Montauk Downs State Park are receiving $60,000 and $75,000, respectively, for sanitary system upgrades, as part of the “NY Parks 2020” plan. The funding, included in the 2018-19 state budget, continues a major transformation of the park system that began in 2011.

The “NY Parks 2020” plan is a multi-year commitment, begun in 2011, to use a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in state parks by 2020. To date, the initiative has invested $700 million in 176 parks and historic sites. More than half of the funding has been to repair and improve basic infrastructure—sewer, water systems, roads, bridges, culverts, bathrooms, electrical system and internet connectivity.

The initiative is also prioritizing the transformation of 31 flagship parks and parks that served communities that lack access to outdoor recreation. These parks serve 80 percent of the system’s visitors.

In addition to $70 million in construction projects, the state budget provides $20 million for various system-wide improvements, such as investment in signage, technology, natural resource stewardship – and allocates funding for design of future projects, emergencies, engineering and construction oversight. This year’s funding, $90 million, is allocated for revitalization and rehabilitation projects at nearly 50 state parks and historic sites across New York.

Septic Replacement Funding Effort

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle have introduced a three-bill legislative package designed to reduce the cost to homeowners for the installation of advanced treatment septic systems that remove nitrogen. An estimated 360,000 houses in Suffolk are served by old inefficient cesspools and septic systems that contribute to water pollution.

The state, Suffolk County, Southampton Town, East Hampton Town and Shelter Island are all engaged in programs to provide financial incentives to encourage homeowners to replace old cesspools and septic systems with advanced treatment systems that remove nitrogen. The state has provided the count with more than $10 million in funding from the State Water Quality Infrastructure Improvement Act for this program. In addition, towns can now use up to 20 percent of proceeds from their Community Preservation Funds for water quality improvement projects, including septic system upgrades. However, the new systems cost as much as $20,000, which is more than traditional septic systems.
The three pieces of legislation would waive the requirement for an engineer to approve the installation of an advanced system; allow municipalities to set up a low-cost septic replacement loan program; and would allow the five East End towns to finance those loan programs with money from their community preservation funds.