In 1998 the Community Preservation Fund law sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele was enacted by the State of New York. Voters in all five East End Towns and Villages voted overwhelming to approve the CPF law as a means for preserving open space, including the quickly disappearing farmland in our county, as well as to fund historic preservation and provide areas for passive recreation. This program is funded by a 2% real estate transfer tax. Recently voters also approved a modification enabling a portion of the fund to be used for water quality programs. This program has been a tremendous success for village residents as the Village Board has been able to preserve numerous important parcels of land for open space, water quality protection, and scenic vistas and historic preservation. We have strongly supported the CPF program since its inception.
Over these past years many millions of dollars have been collected for this fund and while the CPF is controlled by East Hampton Town, the Village has an agreement with the Town that requires a minimum of 10% of funds collected by the Town can be used for projects requested by the village, with an additional 10% available to the Village in matching funds.
Since its inception, the Village has benefited greatly from this program: we’ve purchased and preserved the Dayton farmland on Toilsome Lane, the Bistrian farmland next to Town Hall, the Gardiner Farm lot on James Lane, and the former Buick dealership on the corner of Montauk Highway and Accabonac Road, now an open village green. We also obtained a scenic easement on the Thomas and Mary Nimmo Moran House and Studio facing Town Pond, purchased and restored the Gardiner Mill Cottage on James Lane, and most recently purchased two properties adjacent to Herrick Park which will eventually become walking paths and seating areas open to the public.
Property at 81 Ocean Avenue has also been purchased and is destined to become open space with a view of Hook Pond. This property has the added benefit of removing septic systems from the edge of that water body. Without the availability of Community Preservation Funds these purchases would not have been possible.
The Village thoughtfully examines and discusses numerous properties every year for possible purchase and looks forward to future use of that money for open space, historic preservation, and water quality purposes where appropriate.