Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming starts 2019 delivering strong results for Second District constituents. The February 13, 2019 General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature was a busy and productive day for Legislator Fleming.
FLEMING SECURES COUNTY FUNDING FOR EAST END CULTURAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS
Historical and cultural organization throughout Suffolk County will find support in Introductory Resolution 1011-2019, an amendment to the County 2019 Operating Budget to transfer funds to such organizations. The amendment was adopted at the February 13, 2019 General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature. The funds will be allocated from revenue generated by the Hotel/Motel tax, nearly 40% of which are generated in East Hampton and Southampton Towns, within the second legislative district.
Cultural arts organizations from East Moriches to Montauk will receive grants by the County to support their work and community events. The request was made by Legislator Fleming on behalf of her constituents to ensure tax revenue generated in the second district returns to the East End. Over one-quarter of a million dollars will benefit 29 cultural arts and historical organizations on the South Fork. “After much discussion, we are pleased we were able to negotiate consistent, and in some cases increased, funding from prior years to each of the organizations,” said Legislator Fleming.
Historically, allocations for cultural arts funding are achieved through a legislative amendment after the County Executive files his proposed budget. This cycle, for various reasons, the amendment failed. However, at the General Meeting of February 13, the Legislature passed a newly proposed amendment, which restored negotiated funding to organizations throughout the County.
“The cultural arts are a driver of our local economy, and when tourists visit our world class arts and historic institutions they visit our hotels, restaurants, and shops as well. I greatly appreciate how critically important it is to support the local cultural organizations of the South Fork. They are an integral part of our tourism-based economy,” said Legislator Fleming.
According to the Washington DC-based National Association of State Arts Assemblies, arts organizations contribute significantly to the local economies creating jobs and tax revenues in addition to providing a service to the public. These organizations contribute to the vitality of the community.
LEGISLATOR FLEMING BRINGS DISCUSSION OF COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION TO SUFFOLK COUNTY
In an effort to explore reduced energy costs and a greater supply of renewable energy generation for Suffolk County residents, Legislator Bridget Fleming is opening the discussion at the County level, of Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA, a method of procuring energy for a municipality from diverse suppliers with the goals of efficiency in price, choice, and greater local control. Introductory Resolution 1025-2019, presented to the Public Works, Transportation and Energy Committee on Monday, February 25, would establish a Task Force to study CCA as an energy procurement strategy for Suffolk County.
The CCA puts the control in the hands of the local consumers. By joining forces, the community members have an opportunity to negotiate energy supply costs, choose cleaner energy options, and make energy decisions specific to their local residents and businesses.
“Community Choice Aggregation, simply is about source, delivery, and customer,” explained Legislator Fleming. “When a community, or municipality, is given a choice of how and what types of energy it wants to purchase, the combined buying power of those customers - both residents and businesses - is impactful,” she added, “and if workable for municipalities on Long Island, the model may offer the opportunity for savings as well as choice.”
Several municipalities within the County are exploring the establishment of CCAs. “The Task Force will study the viability of CCAs in Suffolk County and how they might benefit County residents in accessing cheaper and cleaner energy,” Legislator Fleming added. IR 1025-2019 will be presented to the full Legislature at the General Meeting on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
Legislator Fleming Works to Acquire Green Space in Eastport
Introductory Resolution 1139-2019 Considered at
Environment, Planning, and Agriculture Committee Meeting
Under the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program, a proposal was considered to acquire land of EASTPORT COMMONS LLC to develop a hamlet park in Eastport in Brookhaven Town. Legislator Fleming had been approached by the Eastport Fire Department to acquire and preserve 2.01 acres of land across Eastport Manor Road from the Eastport Firehouse. The resolution was tabled to allow for further discussions regarding the potential acquisition. It will be considered again at the next meeting of the Environment, Planning, and Agriculture Committee, scheduled for March 18, 2019.