Riverhead Town has quietly been in the throes of a budget crisis for several years. On the upside, the hefty surplus Supervisor Sean Walter inherited when he took office in 2010 has kept the town from sinking entirely into the red.
On the downside, the town has relied on that same surplus to balance its budget ever since. READ
Riverhead Town may get a reprieve from future tax increases due to recently approved state legislation that could reduce the town’s debt payments by about $3 million per year, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.
The Community Preservation Fund, which has been used to protect over 10,000 acres of land on the East End since it was signed into law in 1999, will now expand to protect water as well — pending voter approval. READ
Who knew that the program that has become integral to saving eastern Long Island from the sprawl that has overtaken much of the western portion of the island — the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund (CPF) — has its origin in a program created on Nantucket by a native Long Islander? READ
The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the bay. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)
Legislation is awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature that would permit all five East End towns to use up to 20 percent of its Community Preservation Fund dollars for water quality improvement projects. (more…)
The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund has never been just about protecting agriculture, farms and open space. At its heart, the program, which took effect in 1999, has always been about protecting a way of life the rest of Long Island lost long ago to intense — and ongoing — suburban sprawl that began after World War II. (more…)
Waterfront homes in Jamesport along the bay. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file.)
On April 2, East Enders will celebrate an important milestone: The Community Preservation Fund will have generated over $1 billion and preserved more than 10,000 acres of open space and farmland. Approved by voters in 1999, the CPF uses a small tax on real estate purchases to preserve land and protect drinking water.
It is arguably the most successful land preservation program in the country. (more…)
A view of Mattituck Inlet (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)
While lawmakers have proposed legislation to deal with deteriorating water quality such as mandating the use of costly wastewater treatment systems, one East End legislator has an idea for how to go about paying for such initiatives.
Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) has proposed using a portion of monies raised in the Community Preservation Fund, a law passed 16 years ago which taxes real estate transfers on the first East End towns.
Revenue from the CPF has been devoted strictly to open space purchases, protecting land from development in the towns.
But Mr. Thiele — the same lawmaker who sponsored the original CPF legislation — said it is time to use some of that money for water treatment systems and other clean water projects.