ICB Minutes April 9, 2019

by Jane Ahrens

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

ICB March Meeting
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Community Center Multi-Purpose Room

Attendance 26 

ICB Representatives Present: Mere Doyen (Island Liaison), Candace Whitman (Year-Round), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), Chris Finan (Utility Company), Matt Edwards (Walsh Park), Geb Cook (Ferry District), David Burnham (Waste Management), Greg Thibodeau (Fire District)

On-Call: Tom O’ Neil (President), Willard Soper (Treasurer), John McGillian (FIDCO), Jane Crary

Absent: Nate Malinowski (Year-Round), Marc Rubenstein (IHP), Tom Sargent (Conservancy), Christian Arsenault (School), Elizabeth McCance (Museum)

Staff: Zack Hoch (Secretary)

Public: Paul Giles, Bob Evans, Ken Edwards, Michelle Klimczak, John Klimczak, Pierce Rafferty, Staley Sednaoui, Jeanie Cook, Jane Ahrens, Dirk Harris, Amy Harris, Harry Parker, Ellen Parker

 Approve March Minutes

 Tom O’ Neil motioned to approved the ICB March meeting minutes written by Zack Hoch. The Board seconded and the minutes passed unanimously.

Southold Update

ICB Google Doc:
Mere Doyen reported the new ICB Google Doc has been sent to the Board for review. Island organizations are represented on the spreadsheet with recent project process and updates. The idea is to let people see emerging projects to learn how the community will be affected. The document currently is used internally only but ICB would eventually like to make this document public. The document would be sent out monthly and bundled with the monthly minutes. Once complete, organizations will have the ability to update the document to their liking. Until then contact Mere to make necessary edits.

Mere is looking to claim a page in the Fishers Island phonebook for the ICB to provide contact information of Board representatives so the community understands the proper points of contact. Board members should get their preferred contact information to Mere.

Quarterly Letter to Southold:
Tom O’ Neil motioned to approve the first quarterly letter of 2019 to be sent to Southold and town supervisor Scott Russell. The Board seconded and the motion passed.

 Island Community Board P.O. Box 464 Fishers Island, NY 06390
To: Supervisor Scott Russell
Date: April 4, 2019
Re: Quarterly Report to Town of Southold from the Island Community Board (ICB)

The Island Community Board started 2019 seeking to establish regular reporting venue with the Southold Town Supervisor, beginning with this first of four quarterly reports. We also have begun the year implementing a plan for enhanced communications to the community and among stake-holders on the Island to create an opportunity for more informed participation in community affairs.

Specific features of our communication plan are as follows:

  • A greatly expanded email list to announce our monthly meetings and any special events to both year-round and seasonal residents as a phone-in option is available.
  • A new “living document” created and maintained by our neighborhood aide Meredith Doyen that contains all the various island organizations and their active projects. This document will be available to you and to Southold Town, as well as our Island via our website (www.fishersisland.net) so that it might be updated by an organizational representative or by Mere as she obtains information from the various public board meetings she attends. The goal of this document is to make visible complete, current information from Island entities, and be a basis for potential collaboration and partnerships.
  • A plan to communicate about meetings in Southold that pertain to Fishers Island specifically. For example, with the help of tech support from Heather Lanza and our Community Center, we will provide via videoconferencing an opportunity for questions re: development on Hound Lane at the upcoming Southold Planning Board meeting.
  • A focus on providing a public forum at our monthly meetings for thorough presentation and discussion of developments that may have wider impact on the Island, enabling the ICB to speak with Southold on behalf of the Island community. We are pleased that since last year, our forums have provided opportunity for Q&A re: large Island projects such as the FI Waste Management’s expansion plan, the FI Utility Company’s appeal to the Zoning Board for Hamlet Density designation re: the “Briar Patch” property. We will also present a forum for the fire district to gain community response to their own expansion plans.

The Island Community Board is also very grateful for the Neighborhood Aide position. Meredith has been a point person between ICB and island organizations which helps the island representative and thus the Town Board be better informed as to island issues

Lastly, the ICB would like to formally thank Southold for supporting the placement of a year-round New York State Trooper on Fishers Island. Our community, and especially our school administration, feels having the trooper here provides a sense of security and peace of mind that was not present before.

Attached for your information are some highlights from our Google Doc as of this week. This living document has also been shared with you online. We welcome your additions, comments and questions.

Respectfully submitted,
Meredith Doyen, Neighborhood Aide
Highlights of Fishers Island Initiatives

F.I. Ferry District:
Commuter Ferry- Finalizing finance plan which will require Board and Town approval.
Channel Dredging- Awaiting permit modification to allow for spring (vs. fall) 2019 action.

F.I. Fire District:
Expansion of Fire House (to include dormitory space)- $1.3 mil potential project cost. Replace firehouse, leaving the barn for truck storage. Will use existing footprint. No wetlands issue. April 11th they will go for site plan approval. Have an architect working on plans. Mixed use building.

Utility Co.:
Briar Patch- Company Housing- Hamlet Density zoning has been approved.

Replacement of lead pipe connections in the Ft. Wright area- Plans are underway. Needs to coordinate with Town of Southold sidewalk project.

F.I. Waste Management (FIWM):
Solid Waste Management Plan (Long Range Plan)- Need to submit in order to qualify for grant funding. Plan is made and addendum of community comments is in process.

DEC required station upgrades &OSHA facilities upgrades- Under discussion.

Old “Picket” Landfill- The Museum is looking for the FIWM to give them an easement (for the development rights) and the Museum would then partner with the Conservancy to maintain the property.

Island Community Center:
Sport Courts- Basketball Fencing & Electric- Jeanie Cook, Director Island Community Center is in contact with Jeff Standish about the needs for lighting and some kind of fence extension or netting behind the basket to protect cars parked behind the fence. Jeanie Cook will follow up and ICB will track progress. Jeff has indicated that there is some funding for the netting.

Fishers Island Rec. Path- Secretary of the Navy has called Scott Russell in support of the project. The Navy indicated that there would be no problem with using the land to extend the rec path to match the path on the east end. Southold said a formal process will have to be completed to get the sidewalks done in that area.

Walsh Park Benevolent Corp. (Housing):
Freight Building Housing Project- Proceeding. Plans to install huge water tank(s) outside the building to hold enough water to use for the fire suppression system required for the building.

School Housing Partnership- F.I. School is taking steps to make property available for purchase by Walsh Park for housing development.

By Fishers Island Neighborhood Aide, Meredith Doyen

 Fort Wright Proposal (Old Bakery):
Mere reported that on Monday April 8th, a public hearing was held regarding the old Bakery building. Community members could attend, comment and ask questions. The hearing used a live feed hook up with the Planning Board in Southold. Mere thanks the Community Center for the use of their technology. At the conclusion on the meeting it was determined the hearing would remain open until the May 6th Town Planning Board meeting.

Concerns for the project include parking, water distribution to the building, being in a flood zone, being close to the school and obtaining a liquor license. The two apartments are guessed to be used for employee housing.

Details on easements on how the water is to get to the property are unknown by Fishers Island Water Works at this time. FIWW superintendent spoke to Dick Strouse from CME Engineering on 4/10/19 to confirm the understanding that easement confirmation is the responsibility of the property owner.

Recreation Path:
John McGillian updated that the Navy Secretary contacted Scott Russell granting permission to the Rec Path foundation to extend the recreation path to run parallel to the Navy fence along the main road. John believes that even with this approval, Scott may still be hesitant to proceed and unwilling to spend the man hours on this project. Tom O’ Neil will follow up the quarterly letter to Southold with a call to Scott Russell about the matter.

Chris Finan stated site plans have been given to Michael Collins and he expects the project can start by September. Chris noted the water pressure is good, but the fire safety is not. This burden will be on the developers.

Community Center:
Jeanie Cook had nothing new to report at this time as her point of contact is on vacation. The community center is concerned about the fencing around the basketball courts being too short, the netting for the tennis courts which my need to be replaced, and fixing the outdoor lighting.

Fire District
Renovation Project
Paul Giles reported the Fishers Island Fire Department is in the beginning stages of a renovation project that would add (3 boxes of living space, which are constructed in Pennsylvania to avoid prevailing wages) a second floor to the current structure to be used as housing. Because the infrastructure is too close to the road the Fire District will first need to get a ‘setback’ approval. They have hired an architect to draw up a basic plan that will be rejected, so they obtain the ‘setback’ approval, then they would submit a new plan. Paul will have more answers after April 11th if they can make it through that hurdle.

When asked about the type of housing this plan would provide, Paul answered there would potentially be one big room with a bathroom and two bunk-style rooms. The Fire Department is seeking for one individually they can pay who can handle all aspects of the job. Housing would be suitable for a family. The remaining operation would stay volunteer based.

Utility Company
Chris Finan stated the Utility Company is currently working on the final covenant for the Briar Patch property because right now there is a year-round living restriction. Other than that, they are ready to start looking for money to fund the project.

Chris raised concerns about the fire protection around all these new project ideas. There is concern where the funds will come from to improve the fire safety and add/upgrade fire hydrants. Community members are fearful property taxes or utility payments could increase. Tom O’ Neil has asked for Chris and Paul Giles to meet to discuss future projects and potentially costs.

Walsh Park
Matt Edwards reported Walsh Park received their proper zoning and will now apply for the building permit. Walsh Park is investigating fire solutions. Matt anticipates we could see some activity as soon as May.

Waste Management
David Burnham reported Waste Management owns the Wilderness Point Road, the old Pickett Landfill and some land surrounding. Waste Management would like to divest that land and wonders what the legal obligations are and what the options are of what to do with this land. Waste Management is having conversations with the Museum and Conservancy. Greg Thibodeau stated the property must be monitored for another 10 years and the land does include a permit to build on. Certain areas of the ground cannot be penetrated, but land near the main road is buildable. Chris Finan questioned if that land could be used to build affordable year-round housing. It is believed that the community does not want to see this land developed.

Island Power Loss
Jane Ahrens stated that no generators kicked on last week when power was lost at approximately 4am one morning. Chris Finan answered the main island generator does work and takes about 1 hour to kick in but is extremely costly and home-owners would be displeased with their bills. The generator could have been used if felt necessary.

Paul Giles stated the school owns and is responsible for their own generator.

NOTE UPDATE from Principal Arsenault 4/29/19:

  • The School is the designated Island emergency shelter. (Confirmed by Christian Arsenault & Louisa Evans.) Northeast generator came out and identified an issue with the batteries supplying power to the generator which has been resolved.
  • The School will award a preventative maintenance service contract at our next BoE meeting to have the generator inspected yearly to ensure proper maintenance steps are taken (battery, fluids, electrical, etc.)

Adjourned 6:50pm

Next ICB meeting is the Memorial Day Weekend meeting and is scheduled for Saturday, May 25th at 4:00pm 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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