ISLAND COMMUNITY BOARD
P.O. Box 464, Fishers Island, NY 06390
ICB Meeting Monthly Minutes
October 7, 2017, 4:00pm
Directors Present: Tom O’ Neil (President), Willard Soper (Treasurer), Matt Edwards (Walsh Park), Christian Arsenault (School), Tom Sargent (Conservancy), Elizabeth McCance (Museum), Louisa Evans (Town Justice), Nate Malinowski (Year-Round), Candy Whitman (Year-Round), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), Geb Cook (Ferry), Tim Patterson (Waste Management)
Directors Absent: Chris Finan (Utility), Marc Rubinstein (IHP), Dicky Reigel (Seasonal)
On Call: None
Staff Present: Zack Hoch (Administrator/Secretary)
Tom O’ Neil opened stating the Columbus Day Weekend meeting is a chance for ICB representatives to alert the community about what they do and provide a forum for community discussion.
Tom O’ Neil motioned to pass the minutes from the September meeting. The minutes were unanimously accepted.
Tim Patterson gave an update about Waste Management and their potential move. Tim stated there was a recent conference call with designers and engineers and he hopes they will receive hard numbers by next week on expenses. Discussions are ongoing with the town planning board about who will be the lead agency. Louisa Evans stated the town decides what the district can afford and the draft plan is on the Waste Management’s website. She also suggested splitting up the costs by wants and needs. Tim stated they need more compactors.
Community members are concerned about the impact of the project. Visibility, traffic, noise and large trucks are concerns. Because discussions on this project started 5 years ago, changes within the community have altered the perspective on the project. Tom O’ Neil suggested taking complaints to the Waste Management Board. Waste Management has a monthly meeting at the Community Center the 4th Monday of every month. Nate Malinowski suggested created a call-in number for people who cannot physically attend the meetings. Tom would like the board to establish a time line for when the next update can be given.
Geb Cook gave the ferry district update stating the dolphin project on the north ramp was guessed to take 2 weeks. Although the project is still in progress, there is an end in sight and they are still on budget. The ferry district has resumed 2-way ticketing in attempt to fill revenue holes. Starting the week of the 16th the Race Point will be out of commission so the insulation can be replaced. Geb stated the engines in the Munnatawket are to be replaced by next spring. This will not increase the speed of the vessel. When asked about the life span for the boats, Geb stated maybe by 2022 they can replace the Munnatawket with a ferry similar to the size of the Race Point. The Munnatawket was built in 1978 and the Race Point in 1985.
Island Health Project
Marc Rubenstein was unable to attend the meeting but would like to update the community on two points. Beginning next month IHP will be able to offer group health insurance to their staff and IHP would like to emphasize to the community that the extraordinarily high level of health care they are able to provide, year-round to the island is made possible only through the generosity of islanders. It takes approximately three donated dollars for every dollar of insurance or co-pay to sustain the program.
Fishers Island School
Christian Arsenault was introduced as the new principle of Fishers Island School and will be taking over for Karen Goodwin. Karen will continue as superintendent. She will spend 4 days a month on the island to focus on school policies and run the board meetings. Christian stated he had previously spent 10 years in the Hartford Public School System. He reported there are 70 kids at the school. Thirty kids live on Island and there are forty tuition students. The class of 2018 has 8 students. Fifteen Spanish kids visited the school for about 2 weeks and soon 4 FI students will travel to Spain. Grades 7-12 recently returned from a school trip after making stops in Lake Placid, Albany, and Montreal. The school will host a community event October 25th, Kindness Diaries. Christian’s door is always open and welcomes anyone to stop by.
Ned Carlson presented the update for Walsh Park. He stated Walsh Park hired Matt Edwards full-time. Walsh Park is trying to update all their properties as well as expand their total housing inventory. The Coleman property is one Walsh Park is looking at. Ned stated they are very disappointed that Kandy Sanger’s Tiny House Project has been tabled. Walsh Park has some money that they are looking to spend but will not buy at market value. They have increased total money raised and number of donors each year and feel strongly that if the right project comes along people will give even more money. Walsh Park is open to working with any organization. Tom O’ Neil asked what exactly Walsh Park is looking for. Ned replied that single family homes don’t make sense to buy. Walsh Park and the school are working together to make a deal involving some land at the end of Fort Road. First step is getting an appraisal. Ned added that of the 27 Walsh Park units only to original 12 receive tax breaks. Lastly Ned added the Utility Company bought the Briar Patch. Utility Company houses comes only with employment.
John McGillian will be appointed the new FIDCO representative to the ICB.
Tom Sargent reported there has been a lot of wear and tear on the main road this year due to 2 ½ times the truck traffic from the Big Club. Jimmy Ski has been building up the dirt roads using concrete dust from excess concrete in the Parade Grounds. The new gatehouse system uses license plate registration so car stickers will no longer be needed. Middle Farms Pond and Barlow Pond is part of the public water supply and fishing and swimming is not permitted. Tom added that the Utility Company is FIDCO’s biggest investor and the Water Company tests everything. There is talk about bringing back the church well located by the driving range and Chris Finan is working on a list of private wells that are not to be used for drinking. Tom reiterated that the speed limit is 30MPH.
Tom Sargent stated that the Conservancy is working with the Ferry District to manage the 175 acres of open spaces. The Conservancy’s budget has increased and their plans are to continue knotweed removal and then over-seed this winter. Tom stated there is more work needed around the Race and Access Road to South Beach. Monarch Butterflies are abundant in population this fall and Otters have been spotted. There are concerns about Fisher Cats being on the island. Tom stated they should not be a threat to dogs.
Elizabeth McCance reported the museum had a great year. They hosted 2 programs with IPP and estimated around 900 people attended. The museum continues to work with the land trust and with land around Middle Farms and Cocomount Cove. The museum monitors the management of Eelgrass which is down 90%. Most remaining Eelgrass resides around Fishers Island Sound. Elizabeth stated the museum is working towards digitizing their annual exhibits. Willard Soper was pleased with the museum’s communication effort this summer but he is disappointed in the condition of the Moody Farm stating the field had Pastor Grass planted and it needs to be mowed 2 to 3 times a year.
Dick Miller stated that over Town Fathers’ Day Scott Russell did not want to discuss a rec. path extension until the ICB supports it. Scott previously offered to split costs on an estimated $450,000 project but costs may have increased. Dick Miller believes the other half can be raised. The goal for now is to extend the path to the end of the Navy fence. There is an 82ft. gap that is owned by the Navy but from normal tread a path would form. Dick stated between 1000-1100 registered bikers and 500 pedestrians passed the gatehouse east bound. Dick formally asked ICB to support the recreation path. The ICB supports the rec path but it is listed 3rd among infrastructure priorities. Scott Russell has already committed to a 5-year plan that includes road and sidewalk repairs. It has also been recognized that this recreation path is the only one in Southold. With other commitments already made this year from the town, the ICB is unsure if the town will make further commitments.