The Southampton Town Board has agreed to take East Hampton Town's share of the in Sagaponack off the cash-strapped town's hands.
Unanimously, the Southampton Town Board voted Tuesday to pay East Hampton $2.2 million in Community Preservation Fund money, ending their eight-year co-ownership of the facility, which includes a 9-hole golf course, driving range, pro shop and on 39 acres.
The towns bought the course in March 2004 to prevent the land from being developed and they turned it into a municipal course. They split the $6.5 million bill evenly, with Southampton drawing from its Community Preservation Fund and East Hampton taking out a bond. East Hampton could not use its Community Preservation Fund cash because the rules of the CPF, which is funded through a 2 percent real estate transfer tax, do not allow towns to purchase land outside their boundaries.
The East Hampton Town Board in October 2011. The town will be taking a loss with the sale, as Southampton is paying about $1 million less for the share of Poxabogue as East Hampton originally paid. The $2.2 million price was negotiated considered the decline of the real estate market in recent years.
The revenues generated from the sale will enable East Hampton to pay debt principal on the property over the next four years, at which point, the original bond can be paid off in full. "The debt balance will be paid in full after the tenth year of the loan issuance date thus saving the town $100,000 in interest," according to the town's resolution.
Len Bernard, East Hampton's budget officer, said the town is expecting to receive about half of what was in an account that collects golf fees, a stipulation that was written into the contract. The last time he checked, the account had about $400,000 in it, so the town should receive about $200,000.
State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and state Sen. Kenneth LaValle put forth identical bills in the state Assembly and state Senate, respectively, in February authorizing East Hampton to make the sale. The bills have yet to come to a vote.