ICB Minutes May 25, 2019

by Jane Ahrens

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

ICB Memorial Day Weekend Meeting
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Community Center Multi-Purpose Room

Attendance 55

ICB Representatives Present: Mere Doyen (Island Liaison), Candace Whitman (Year-Round), (Year-Round), Tom Siebens (Utility Company), Matt Edwards (Walsh Park), Geb Cook (Ferry District), David Burnham (Waste Management), John McGillian (FIDCO/Bike Path) Marc Rubenstein (IHP), Christian Arsenault (School), Pierce Rafferty (Museum), Louisa Evans (Ex Officio)

On-Call: Tom O’ Neil (President), Willard Soper (Treasurer)

Absent: Nate Malinowski (Year-Round), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), Tom Sargent (Conservancy), Greg Thibodeau (Fire District)

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

Southold Update
Sidewalks: Louisa Evans reported that the engineering reports from the Utility Company are into the town and the pipe work is scheduled to take place in the Fall and the sidewalks in the Spring.

Louisa reported that the Town wrote a letter of support for Walsh Park to help with a Suffolk Co. Downtown Revitalization grant. The Town has also bonded the funding needed for the Ferry District to purchase the new commuter boat.

Rec. Path:
It is Louisa’s understanding that the Secretary of the Navy called Scott Russell expressing his support of the Rec Path extension. Scott told Louisa the process of acquiring necessary right of way or ownership of the property to accommodate the Rec Path would still be time consuming for Town personnel who already spent a lot of time on the project only to be back at step one with the Navy. Louisa has asked Scott to send an email to herself and John McGillian; a summary of his conversation with the Secretary of the Navy, but have not received one. Scott did tell John he would reach out to the Secretary of the Navy again.

Utility Company
Tom Siebens reported on Briar Patch. There has been a restrictive covenant added to ensure that the housing will be used as year-round housing. They will be working with CT Valley Homes to get a set of plans that can be submitted with a building permit application. It will be shingled to look similar to the doctor’s office. They are 2 story units with 2 car garages at each end.

Middle Farms Pond:
He [Tom Siebens] was thankful that the community has respected the swimming ban so they can collect the data needed to address the problems. Studies have been conduced and the Water Board will come up with a set of rules addressing how to use the pond. There are issues with people pulling water from the pond, which can lead to lower levels and warmer water, which, combine with excess nitrogen from run off, makes for a breeding ground for algae. Barlow Pond remains off limits because it is the first water source in case of emergency. The new filtration system is great, all the wells should be enough to support the summer peak.

Fire Protection:
2 years ago, the Utility Company, met with the Fire District and decided to focus on water sources and back up. Since then, the insurance rating was improved drastically because of the improvements the Water Company made. This will help with insurance rates for homeowners. Now the challenge is distribution. They are mapping the system in order to prioritize issues. For example, pipe sizing is one issue for pressure and fire protection. The main needs to be 8-10” for fire protection and is currently 4” in places. Investment is needed. Fire service is a class of water service regulated by the Public Service Commission. The rate for fire service, meaning the rate charged the Fire District by the Water Company per hydrant is very low, and costs are not being met. The hydrants are currently leased to the Fire District for $427 each and a typical rate is between $1000 and $1500 per hydrant. The Water Company will need buy-in/cooperation from the Fire District to pay realistic hydrant lease rates and to raise the Fire District’s tax revenue to so.

Q: Do both organizations have a strategic plan? Are their reserves set aside for projects like this?

Siebens- The planning has been focused on water supply and now will focus on water distribution; this is part of the long-range planning. The PSC does not allow a regulated utility to hold money in reserves. The Water Company is looking for an expert on fire district and water company financing relationships to help with a financing plan for fire protection infrastructure. They want to make a timeline and remain transparent about the process.

Community Center:
Jeanie Cook said they are happy to facilitate meetings and have been working to get the digital connection to Southold. They have several summer programs this summer and are partnering with IPP. FICC will be hosting the ZBA meeting on June 6th at 1:00pm.

Q: Can you add the Community Center to the ICB? This will be discussed and voted on at the next meeting.

Treasurer Report:
Willard Soper said there is $4k in the account and there should be a fundraiser this summer. We will do a mailing this year. He made a motion to pay Zack for 75 hours. Seconded by T. O’Neil. Motion passed.

Waste Management
David Burnham reported Waste Management is trying to finish the Local Solid Waste Plan in order to be eligible for certain funding. They would like to get a meeting with the ICC to discuss concerns.

Geb Cook reported that the engines on the Munnatawket have been replaced, looking to do the Race Pt. next. Just added passenger ferry service to increase ridership. Ridership has decreased from 150k/yr to 120k/yr. Airport- They are working with private owners to build a hanger. Looking for FAA grants to repave the runways (last done in ’82).

Walsh Park
Matt Edwards reported Walsh Park received their proper zoning and will now apply for the building permit. They hope to break ground in July. They have a demolition permit. This should be a 1-year project. 6 apartments (3-2 bed, 3-1 bed). WP has applied for an $80k revitalization grant and Louisa was a bog help. There are 9 families on the waiting list, a mix of on and off islanders.

F.I. School:
Christian Arsenault announced that Karen Goodwin will be retired after July 1st. He will take over the Superintendent position. Projected enrollment for next year is 66 students with a 50/50 split of island and magnet. They started a preK-3 program this year because of the number of little kids. The School Board has made a capital improvement plan that addresses the next 10 year. He will present the plans and funding plans to the ICB when they have that ready. They are being extremely financially minded with the planning. This year is the 5th year of flat funding, no increases to tax base. He welcomed the newest School Board member, Matt Edwards.

Pierce updated everyone on the 2 new staff positions (Seagrass and Land Trust coordinator). He asked everyone to attend the many programs the Museum is hosting this summer.

Post Office
Pierce also brought up the new Post Office procedure of sending ALL mail off island for processing. This cause all mail to leave FINY and get processed in Norwich and then come back to be sorted here and put in PO boxes. This is of concern for islanders wishing to mail something on a timeline.

Q: How do we address this issue? Can we ask our Representative Lee Zelden?

No news. They are still monitoring the housing situation and willing to donate land if needed. John McGillian said they would add items to the Google Doc.

Marc Rubinstein Reminded everyone that they are maintaining an office that is the highest quality that is essentially fully funded by FINY. He also mentioned that Dr. Ingram works with the Fire/EMT crews as well.

Tommy O’Neil thanked everyone for coming and for their participation. He asked everyone to go to their Board members and ask for support for the ICB both financially and by updating the Google Doc.

Adjourned 6:00pm

Next ICB meeting is June 11th at 5:30pm in the Community Center multi-purpose room.

Featured Photo

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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