Town News – Winter 2015-16
January starts off with the swearing in of the Town officials elected in November. That includes Supervisor James Dougherty, Town Board members Paul Shepherd and Jim Colligan, newly-appointed Town Board member Mary Dudley, Assessors BJ Ianfolla and Quinn Karpeh,
Tax Receiver Annemarie Seddio and Highway Superintendent Jay Card.
In early discussions about upcoming priorities the major issue identified related to water—including water quantity, water quality, appropriate uses for water and salt contamination of fresh water. The Town is hiring the USGS to do some testing throughout Shelter Island of both water quantity and water quality, to provide a baseline for future decisions.
The Town has hired a grants writer to pursue money to help the town in various efforts. In addition, the Community Preservation Fund laws have been rewritten to allow towns to use some of the money to fund water quality improvement projects. The Town will be working to identify such projects. Ultimately, whether to allow the 2% CPF tax on home transfers to be used for such projects and whether to extend the tax from its expiration on 2030 to 2050 will be a matter for the voters to decide in a future referendum.
The Town’s Deer and Tick control projects have been moving forward. Winter is the season for harvesting deer, and the reduced population results in fewer deer-vehicle collisions and damage to forest undergrowth and landscaping. The Town has committed to hiring a person to implement the 4-Poster program to control the tick population and to oversee the deer harvest program.
The EMS service has been hard at work this year. The private EMS Foundation has raised significant funds to support purchase of a new ambulance and to train our EMS volunteers. So in 2016 there will be a new ambulance on the roads and hard-working volunteer EMS workers to help our residents and visitors in times of need.
This Autumn, Suffolk County and the Town worked on a successful project to dredge the slips at South Ferry. This is important to keep the ferries running even in low tides. The dredge spoil has been placed on Shell Beach. After dewatering the spoil can be used to rebuild eroded public lands.
So far a warm December has meant no snow storms. This not only saves the taxpayers the cost and inconvenience of snow removal (last year was very expensive), it has freed up our highway workers to do other projects to maintain the quality of roads and town infrastructure. We’ll see how the rest of the Winter plays out.
Keep an eye on the newspaper for weekly reports on Town news and on this webpage for quarterly updates.
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