ICB Minutes December 12, 2018

by Jane Ahrens

P.O. Box 464, Fishers Island, NY 06390
Tel: 631-788-7990
Email: ficommunityboard@gmail.com

ICB December Meeting
Tuesday, December 12, 2018
5:30 pm
Community Center Multi-Purpose Room

Attendance 22

ICB Representatives: Mere Doyen (Administrator), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), Christian Arsenault (School), Tim Patterson (Waste Management), Chris Finan (Utility Company), Matt Edwards (Walsh Park), Louisa Evans

On Call: Tom O’Neil (President), Willard Soper (Treasurer), Nate Malinowski (Year-Round), Tom Sargent (Conservancy), John McGillian (FIDCO)

Staff: Zack Hoch (Secretary)

Public Present: Bob Evans, Chris Edwards, Sarah Porter, Ken Edwards, Laurie Finan, Luke Fowler, Art Walsh, Fran Roethgen, Staley Sednaoui

Absent: Candace Whitman (Year-Round), Dicky Riegel (Seasonal), Greg Thibodeau (Fire District), Geb Cook (Ferry District), Marc Rubenstein (IHP), Elizabeth McCance (Museum)


Approve November Minutes

Tom O’ Neil motioned to approve the November minutes composed by Zack Hoch. The November minutes passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report

Willard Soper gave a brief update about ICB’s Checking account by stating 10 checks have been received as donation totaling $1,100 since the November meeting. Donations range from $25-$500.

Waste Management Update

Willard Soper stated there is some misunderstanding about Waste Management’s plans following their November 9th letter informing the community of its intention to shelve its Consolidation Plan. WM is making time for further community feedback and responding to letters from the community. WM is in the process of establishing an AD Hoc Committee consisting of seasonal and year-round residents. The committee will not be managed by WM but will have access to the staff, files, research, and work. WM is still planning safety upgrades but there are no current plans to expand. Nate Malinowski stated the point of effort is to highlight facts and make them readily available to the community for elevated discussion. ICB expects to finalize the report on the Consolidation Plan by the January meeting.

Tim Patterson read a letter from the FIWMD Board.

Dear members of the Fishers Island Community,

Regrettably, notes from a recent meeting were published in a public forum without the benefit of context and in a way that failed to indicate the draft nature of these notes. This has generated a response in the community that we need to address.

The FIWMD Board is in the process of establishing an AD Hoc Committee. The mission of the committee, although not yet fully defined, will be to engage with the staff, consultants, files and collected data, to conduct a review and make recommendations to the Board. The Board will impose no constraints on the Committee. The membership of the Committee is not yet confirmed, but it will be a small group of individuals and no person serving on the FIWMD Board may be a member of the Ad Hoc Committee.

In the meantime, the FIWMD Board and staff will continue with day to day operations. We will proceed with minor but urgent safety upgrades important to customer safety, such as installing guard rails around the pits. The Board will not be going forward with any program expansions, special projects or initiate anything ‘new’ at the time.

Fishers Island is a small community blessed with a passionate and devoted citizenry. Through the public elections process, the volunteer FIWMD Board of Commissioners has been delegated the particular responsibility within our community to address waste management. We too are passionate and devoted and lament the current situation where we seem to have gotten ahead of the curve on public sentiment for how to manage the island’s waste.

We are acutely aware that hard work and good intentions are not exclusive elements to serving on this or any public board. Transparency is another critical element, and we are accused of neglecting this element. We appreciate that trust from constituents is earned through clear and constant two-way communication. With outside assistance, we will be engaging in a thorough review of our board practices and available tools, such as the website, to be sure they engender sound, well-articulated, widely-shared goals, polices, and programs.

Thank you for your patience, FIWMD Board

Suggestions about how the Ad Hoc Committee is formed include consisting of both seasonal and year-round residents, and people located in various areas of the island so different perspectives are collected. Luke Fowler suggested somebody from the Community Center be on the Ad Hoc Committee and also suggested election voting rules are changed so all property owners on Fishers Island can vote. Luke displayed displeasure with WM stating they have not been good neighbors and he is angry about the tax increase. The new system is over-complicated, noisy and dusty.

Tim Patterson stated WMD is working on a local plan and they will present it when it is complete. Tim hopes for community support because there are $200,000 worth of grants WM could apply for. One thing WM may experiment with next year would be adding machines that give $.05 per can.

Southold Update

New Island Liaison Mere Doyen, reported her new office in the community center is coming together. She has a new computer, established a mail list, and is making connections. Mere requests a digital copy of the sidewalk plan so property owners know if they will be effected. Mere mentioned the Ferry District came across $500,000 that must be spent. Geb Cook would have more information to offer.

Tom O’ Neil asked Mere to meet with organizations on island and determine any major project ideas and schedule initiatives. Community members are asking questions about the plan for the Ordnance and could Kandi Sanger’s Tiny House Project come back into play now that WM Consolidation Plan has been brought to a halt.

Utility Company Update

Chris Finan reported the Utility Company is working on a construction map to give to a town engineer so a bid package can be created to replaced underground water lines. These water lines are over 100 years old are located below the sidewalks that are to be replaced in the Spring. The timing makes sense to do this before the new sidewalks are installed. The project focuses on water distribution and puts light on infrastructure island wide. Chris will speak with Vinny Orlando. Chris mentioned fire protection is a big concern and suggested engaging in discussion with the Fire District to determine what that community wants, what the benefits are, and if it would be worthwhile. Chris asks if the ICB can bridge the Fire District into the fold and get them involved in ICB meetings. The project would require a tax increase to fund. The Water Company would be responsible to maintain, while funds would come from the Fire District.

The petition is in to convert the land known as the ‘briar patch’ into a Hamlet Density property allowing for the construction of a multi-family house. Louisa Evans stated adjacent property owners have received notice, but the notice does not describe much. If all is good, the Utility Company will proceed to spend money on their plans and then share with the community. Chris estimates $700,000-$750,000 to build a shingled multi-family home that will blend with the Doctor’s Office.

Adjourned 6:50pm

The next ICB meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8th at 5:30 pm in the Community Center multi-purpose room.

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USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay. Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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