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Jan 7, 2019 12:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Mayor To Proceed With Big Projects In 2019

Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Jan 8, 2019 11:35 AM

A quarter of the way into her third term as Westhampton Beach Village mayor, Maria Moore said she is entering 2019 with the same priorities she had when running for the seat in 2014.

She joined the race as a political newcomer with a vision for a more vibrant Main Street and an objective to repair village streets and sidewalks. She has since stuck to her platform and made significant headway on two major projects—the Main Street reconstruction project and sewer district project—and said she wants to continue making progress throughout the year.

For the Main Street plans, the village recently received all necessary funds from the Southampton Town Community Preservation Fund for the contractor, Excav Services Inc., to proceed with the initial drainage portion of the project. It involves installing two hydrodynamic separators and replacing an underground brick culvert located beneath two buildings in an alleyway.

Ms. Moore said that the contractor is in the process of obtaining a de-watering permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation needed to begin the work. Once that is obtained, construction will likely take place in March and April.

Any day now, H2M Architects + Engineers should be submitting its final drawings and bid specifications for the rest of the Main Street project, Ms. Moore said, which includes burying utility lines, expanding sidewalk and curbs and building two traffic circles.

“This is going to be very exciting to get this done, finally,” she said.

Her hope was to complete the traffic circles before summer and to begin sidewalk work in the fall, after the season—but she said that timeline seems rather ambitious now. It really depends, she said, on what the contractor estimates the time frame to be: If H2M says it will take longer than she predicted, they can wait to start work in the fall and work through the winter, if conditions are mild enough.

For the sewer project, H2M just began working on construction drawings and specifications for phase one, which are expected to be done in November. By the year’s end, Ms. Moore said that the village will begin the process of putting the project out to bid.

December ended the year strong for the project, allowing for steady progress in 2019 and future years. The village approved H2M to create the construction plans on December 6 and, less than two weeks later, received a $5 million DEC grant to go toward construction.

In terms of grants, the village will be applying for more town CPF money this year for the sewer construction, as well as reapplying for a Water Infrastructure Improvement grant through the State Environmental Facilities Corporation, which the village did not receive last year.

Another project on Ms. Moore’s agenda for this year is to install a flag memorial to honor members of the armed services at the village marina, on the corner of Stevens Lane and Library Avenue. She said she hopes to have it done by Memorial Day.

“We took a trip to Saratoga a couple years ago for a mayors conference, and we saw something like this,” she said, showing a printed illustration of the design. “And we thought it would be a nice idea to have one here in the village.”

The village’s Department of Public Works will complete most of the work, and a hired mason will do the bricklaying around the memorial. It will also include a plaque in the center dedicated to former Mayor Arma “Ham” Andon, who was a member of the military and numerous local government and community organizations before his death in 2016.

Ms. Moore’s agenda also includes encouraging businesses to occupy vacant properties in the village, something that has remained on her agenda since becoming mayor. She noted that a few properties are currently seeking restaurant tenants—one at 145 Main Street, and the other in the new Sunset Avenue building that houses CVS Pharmacy.

“My hope would be that both of those spaces and any other vacant properties on Main Street would be fully occupied by the summer,” she said.

She also brought up plans for other properties that were recently purchased. The former Magic’s Pub on Main Street and former Corner Restaurant on Oak Street will become new restaurants, and the former bank at 43 Main Street at the intersection of Mitchell Road will be transformed into a 10-room inn.

The mayor noted that the usual summer activities are scheduled to take place this year, including the concert series and Farmers Market on the Village Green, Kids on the Green, and several art shows, as well as some newer happenings. A dance and opera event that took place for the first time last year on the Great Lawn is being planned again for this summer, Ms. Moore said.

“It’s great to get new things, but we’re always open to new ideas,” she emphasized. “If any people want to come in and pitch an event, we’re very willing to entertain that.”

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Again, more platitudes from elected officials. I'm sick of listening to the platitudes with no details. Governing is in the details that should be conveyed to the residents. Just recently, I thank Newsday for updating us on the 5 million dollar award for the sewer project. Does this assume completion of all phases of the project to receive the full amount, does the village have to front the funds and seek reimbursement, what other criteria have to be met to receive the funds? These are questions ...more
By dunebuddy (5), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Jan 8, 19 1:25 PM
Speaking about the rational for ALL to pay for the sewer district, even though most residents will never get a pipe in front of their hones, this does not make sense. All sewer districts on the island do not allocate costs this way. I applaud rational when it follows a rational train of thought, by asking critical questions, and using critical data to back up conclusions. But anybody who has asked critical questions during meetings is pegged as an obstructionist, negative, denier, out of ...more
By dunebuddy (5), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Jan 8, 19 1:41 PM
Look e here, the Hampton Bays Water District is giving the the residents, not just registered voters, the ability to vote on merging their water district with the Suffolk County Water Authority. Also, the Village of Quogue is set to establish a separate erosion taxing district for ONLY owners that are affected by erosion problems plaguing Dune Road. Only those owners would pay for the costs. It's amazing that the WHB Village Trustees do not let their residents do their due diligence by ...more
By dunebuddy (5), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Jan 18, 19 3:04 PM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser