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January 23, 2013

Sustainability Big Priority In Southampton


Members of Southampton Town's Sustainability Committee met with the town board last Thursday morning to discuss updates necessary for the committee's comprehensive plan.

"We're trying to integrate energy and efficiency with this green committee," said Kyle Collins, town planning and development administrator.

Collins and members of the Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee have been working toward prioritizing goals for a more tenable Southampton.

Restoring water resources, maintaining wildlife corridors, and promoting the construction of green buildings were all methods discussed with the town board to improve the town's sustainability. Appropriate waste management, land use and promotion of maintaining healthy businesses were also among the ideas discussed to keep Southampton a vibrant community.

"People want to enhance and strengthen Southampton for the future," said committee member Ann Reisman.

One committee member mentioned how this planning and constant dialogue with the town board have assisted in making the plans within the committee long term. "It allows for all of us to over time contribute," he said.

Plans for the growing committee have been underway for three years, Reisman said.

"We've tried to cast a wide net to identify and prioritize plans," Reisman said. "Southampton Town aspires to be a healthy and green community in a sustainable world."

According to some committee members, the community has done a lot already to reach the goal of a more sustainable Southampton. The abundant amount of education and literacy on sustainability within the town as well as transparency in the development of proposals have been key in moving the committee's vision forward, according to members.

"There has been an extraordinary amount of work put into this," said Councilwoman Bridget Fleming.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst applauded the advisory committee's "extraordinary commitment to the cause. We should it make it our business to revisit this [committee's work] every year. We should be a prototype of what will be seen in other towns."

Councilwoman Christine Preston-Scalera also praised the advisory committee. "It's a pleasure to be sitting here with you," she said. "It's a definite highlight of my first year here."

Also discussed on Thursday were town hall security recommendations with Deputy Town Attorney and Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone. Whether or not town hall needs a security guard was discussed amongst town board members while Zappone offered more options.

"We could begin the process with no additional staffing," he said. The deputy supervisor said limiting the number of entrances to the building or having a guest scanner installed were both ideas that were relatively inexpensive and would still keep town hall safe.

"It does change the climate of the building," he said.

Emily@indyeastend.com

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