By Stephen J. Kotz
Residents of Meadowlark Lane in Bridgehampton, which until last fall was a private road, will soon see $898,000 in improvements. The Southampton Town Board approved a bond for that amount, which will be paid for by the street’s residents over the next 20 years, at its annual organizational meeting on January 3.
When the board meet on Tuesday this week, the board approved a separate resolution to hire the Raynor Group of Water Mill for $39,500 to do surveys, a drainage plan and other post-construction work.
The road, which runs east and south of Ocean Road, had been plagued by potholes and flooding. Although some residents wanted it placed into the town’s road system, others said they preferred to keep it a private road, citing fears that it would attract more traffic, especially for beachgoers looking for a free place to park. But in agreeing to make the road public, the board agreed it would not allow parking on it.
Southampton Town has settled contracts with both its police officer and civil service employee unions.
According to Russell Kratoville, the town’s business administrator, the contract with the Civil Service Employee Association, the town’s biggest union, is a four-year deal that extends through 2021 that will provide employees with annual 2-percent raises.
Mr. Kratoville said the deal was also significant because the town board settled a dispute with Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor dating to 2016 when he took issue with Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s efforts to adjust the salaries of some town workers before the contract had expired.
Under the new deal, Mr. Gregor will not sign off on the contract, but the town board doubled the number of part-time employees in his department from three to six and allowed him to have unlimited temporary workers. Temporary workers are replacement workers hired to fill in for regular employees who are out on sick leave.
The town also signed a new deal retroactive to January 1, 2017, with the Southampton Town Patrolman’s Benevolent Association. That contract, which runs through 2020, provides officers with annual raises of 2 percent, but it also adds two salary steps from the seven now in place to nine. That means it will take a new officer two more years to go from the base salary, currently $53,730, to the top salary of $121,330. New officers will also be required to contribute 15 percent to their health insurance plans.