ISLAND COMMUNITY BOARD
P.O. Box 464, Fishers Island, NY 06390
ICB June Meeting
June 18, 2018
Community Center Multi-Purpose Room
ICB Representatives: Tom O’ Neil (President), Willard Soper (Treasurer), Candy Whitman (Year-Round), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), Greg Thibodeau (Waste Management/Fire Department), Marc Rubenstein (IHP), Chris Finan (Utility Company), Matt Edwards (Walsh Park), John McGillian (FIDCO), Tom Sargent (Conservancy), Geb Cook (Ferry District), Christian Arsenault (School)
On Call: Dicky Riegel (Seasonal), Elizabeth McCance (Museum)
Absent: Nate Malinowski (Year-Round)
Public Present: Sarah Porter, Ken Edwards, Bob Evans, Jim Reid, Barbara Hoch, Constance White, Dick Miller, Todd Williams
Tom O’ Neil greeted all in attendance and thanked all reps for their hard work and good attendance at the meeting.
Approve May Minutes
Tom O’ Neil motioned to pass the May minutes. The May minutes unanimously passed.
Environmental Initiatives Report
Tom Sargent reported the Conservancy is exploring different opportunities on Fishers Island to pull out and remove invasive species and prevent outbreaks. The Conservancy continues work in the Parade Grounds. Three undergraduates from the University of Delaware are working on site since June 1st and are having their stay extended to continue removal of invasive species. The Conservancy is partnering with FIDCO to assess issues involving invasives on parcels of FIDCO owned land. Chris Finan provided them with a map. Tom added they will also be working with the Water Company. Middle Farms Pond is contaminated and Tom Siebens is monitoring and testing the water to determine appropriate fertilizers and which could be harmful. Two professors will visit the island June 26 and 27 to observe the Conservancy’s work. Tom Sargent reported the Conservancy is looking into rehabilitating Fort Wright and removing unwanted species. They are having conversations with the Peconic Bay Fund about the application process. Dicky Reigel stated the Peconic Bay funds are in the millions and approximately $2.6 million has been generated by Fishers Island. Dicky asks what the right way is to get the money back. Tom Sargent stated the town has access to their own portion. Matt Edwards stated that areas in disrepair around Fort Wright must be identified. Tom continued by stating the Conservancy checks 15-22 sites annually and then alerted there could be a dredging project coming soon in Long Island Sound. This would pose a threat to remaining seagrass in the area. New York State and Brookhaven are opposed to the project. A lawsuit likely to be filed.
Before the seagrass discussion, Elizabeth McCance reported the museum is also acting to remove invasive species on their land parcels, most recently in the 5 acre Sanctuary and trails by Chocomount Beach. Elizabeth stated a coalition has pulled together with the Museum, FIDCO, Conservancy and Ferry District. The organizations have met 3 times to discuss seagrass and the resources available. Seagrass is an important habitat to many organisms and species and helps prevention of coastal erosion. When asked if a dredging project poses a threat to the seagrass, Elizabeth said it could cause harm. Elizabeth stated they have support from the DEC and will look to create protective areas and determine management plans. There is limited monitoring now, but the museum applied for, and has been awarded a ‘land trust grant’ in order to establish a monitoring program.
They will next meet July 10 at 2pm to discuss ‘nitrogen loading’ in Long Island Sound. Two guest speakers will present at the meeting and it is open to the public. Elizabeth stated people can help the cause by educating themselves by reading the articles published in the Foghorn.
Zack Hoch reported a boxholder mail blast for the ICB’s annual appeal would cost $210 to send postcards or $300 to send letters containing a donation envelope to return. The board prefers to send a letter to the community written by Tom O’ Neil explaining 2018 ICB priorities. Willard Soper requested to change the wording from last years letter from ‘voluntary contributions’ to ‘membership dues’. Sarah Porter suggested setting a date when the membership fees are due. Candy Whitman does not want the letter too wordy but suggests the ICB could make this piece ‘one-stop-shopping’ for information to send to the community. The ICB will review the 2017 spring letter and make necessary edits.
Tom O’ Neil reported the administrative position has been looked at and redefined by Civil Service. The part-time position will likely offer $15 per hour. Road and sidewalk repairs are on schedule.
Dicky Reigel sent out an updated list of ICB representatives and stated the 3rd week of August is usually when elections are held. However, elections are only needed if there is a space to fill. There are 6 elects; 3 seasonal residents and 3 year-round residents. Dicky and Candy are at the end of their 1st 3-year term but would both like to stay on for a 2nd term. Representatives can serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms. So there is no need for an election this year. Next year Nate Malinowski will be at the end of his 1st term and Tom O’ Neil will be at the end of his 2nd term. The ICB seeks for representatives who can help identify island problems and priorities.
Adjourned 6:36 pm
Next meeting will be Monday, July 9th at 5:30 in the community center multi-purpose room.