After taking over the reigns on Southold Town's website 10 years ago, Data Processing Director Lloyd Reisenberg asked the Town Board on Tuesday morning to put out a request for proposals to design a new town website, a request Supervisor Scott Russell wants to take "far and wide" to find the best bang for the buck.
Reisenberg agreed, noting that he wants to get a number of responses back, review the plans, and bring a handful of the applicants to the town board for interviews.
"This is a big thing for the town," Reisenberg said at the board's semi-monthly work session at Town Hall.
The formal request for a new website followed the creation of a Website Development Committee and a "not well-attended public meeting," Reisenberg said.
Tuesday afternoon he added that the site "needs to be updated to today's standards."
With $20,000 in the line item dedicated to a new website, Reisenberg said he is hoping to have the new site completed before the end of the year.
The board is expected to approve the RFP at Tuesday afternoon's board meeting.
Habitat for Humanity May be Coming to Greenport West
Deputy Town Supervisor Phillip Beltz and Town Planner Mark Terry sought the board's permission to consider allowing Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk to construct an affordable housing unit on possessed land in Greenport West.
At this early stage in the process, the board's approval to consider moving forward with Habitat for Humanity would be non-binding. However a deadline with Suffolk County, who currently owns the property after the owner reportedly failed to pay taxes on it, looms within the next week.
Should the town decide to move forward in the future with Habitat for Humanity, the property would be transferred from the county to the town through the county's 72-h program, and subsequently from the town to Habitat for Humanity, which would draw up an interest-free mortgage for someone eligible for affordable housing.
Les Scheinfeld, interim director of Suffolk's Habitat for Humanity chapter, said the average mortgage of families who receive homes through the program is $65,000, after federal and state credits are used.
Town Looking to Bid Out Storm Drain Work
Due to a reduction in workforce – summertime equaling vacation time for many employees – and trying to keep up with regular maintenance around town, Highway Superintendent Pete Harris said his department is running at 50 percent since May 1 and asked the board to bid out four drainage jobs surrounding Long Creek near Hashamomoque Pond.
The drainage upgrades, part of requirements mandated by the state under its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) program, are meant to contain storm water runoff in wetland areas.
The town recently received a grant from the state to pay for half the costs, though the grant implied that the town would do the work in-house. Although a failure to change the wording of the grant – which totals nearly $200,000 – could result in the town having to bond the upgrades, Russell said he's confident the state will comply.
"We were actually awarded the initial grant application under the presumption that the work would be bid out," he said. "We've been able to amend grants in the past so I don't see a problem with it."