Town News – Spring 2014
It has been a tough Winter and the Highway Department has done a stellar job at keeping the roads cleared through all the cold and snow. It is interesting to note that beet juice has been added to the arsenal of road clearing materials, as the sugar raises the melting point of ice and increases the effectiveness of other salt and sand materials. Now comes the Spring cleanup, with the important chores of sweeping and patching the roads.
LIPA has been turned over to PSEG. Despite the severity of the winter weather, PSEG has done a good job of keeping the power turned on. In addition, they have undertaken an extensive program to reduce future outages by trimming trees and vegetation that threaten the power lines. In addition PSEG representatives have been meeting with Supervisor Dougherty to discuss ways to ensure steady power to Shelter Island in light of the failed underwater power cable project last summer.
The Town Board was busy with changes to the town’s medical services, as Winthrop Hospital added a new doctor to work with Dr. Kelt. Island Urgent Medical Care left Shelter Island and Winthrop has moved to take their space at the Medical Center.
The Town Board also reviewed a draft new Solid Waste Management Plan. It reviews the usage of the Town’s Recycling Center for the past 10 years and projects future uses through 2022. Fewer companies are bidding to haul the town’s MSW off-island, as well as declining amounts of materials coming to the Recycling Center, prompting a close look at future steps at the facility.
Water quality has continued to be an important issue. The Irrigation Committee has been working with its hydrologist to review water quantity and quality trends over the past 30 years. This will establish a basis for projecting the impacts of irrigation on the ground and surface waters. The committee asked the Town Board for more time to report, feeling they would not be ready until July. On that basis, the Town Board is considering extending the moratorium on irrigation until December 31, 2014.
The Town has continued its work on preservation. The Town Board voted to proceed with the acquisition of two parcels on the first Ram Island Causeway, thus ensuring they will never be built upon. The Town Board has also worked with Peconic Land Trust to come up with a program to limit access to Reel Point. The dredging work at the mouth of Coecles Harbor last Fall left Reel Point a sandy desert and Peconic Land Trust has plans to revegetate it to stabilize the soils and provide valuable habitat for local fauna.
There is a new face at Town Hall with the appointment of Annemarie Seddio as Tax Receiver, replacing Nancy Kotula who moved over to Justice Court as the Court Clerk. Annemarie’s appointment runs through November 30 and there will be an election in November to fill the balance of Nancy’s term.
Keep an eye on the newspaper for weekly reports on Town news and on this webpage for quarterly updates.