ICB Letter to Southold 9/16/19: Follow up to Town Day Mtg.

by Jane Ahrens

Sept. 16, 2019

Scott Russell
Supervisor, Town of Southold
53095 Route 25, P.O. Box 1179
Southold, NY

Dear Scott,

This letter is a follow up to the comments from the Island Community Board (ICB) at the annual meeting on Fishers Island. First, thank you for coming to the Island again this year. We appreciated the various meetings that were held and particularly enjoyed the Comprehensive Plan presentation and handouts. We have had great feedback from that meeting. We were also delighted to hear of the plans for the purchase of a Fishers Island Utility Co. owned property with funding from the Community Preservation Funds.

As stated at the meeting, the Comprehensive Plan had some great suggestions for improving infrastructure and some that are specific to Fishers Island. With this plan as a guide, the ICB would like to stay involved and be proactive on some key points. These points are outlined well in Chapter 4 page 21:

  1. Increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety
  2. Addressing sidewalk gaps
  3. Expanding bike network and routes. (Chapter 13 specifically states a Fishers Island goal of connecting a west end Bike Path to the East End Recreational Path)

We understand that the sidewalk project is set to break ground this coming Spring. We expect that “requests for proposals” will be generated this fall. Please make us aware of the dates that the requests for proposals or bids are going out. We would like to encourage island contractors to bid and would like to stay on top of dates revolving around that big project.

Additionally, chapter 13 of the Comprehensive Plan speaks to goals related to parks, recreation, and open space. The community through notes, comments, and emails to the ICB fully agree with these goals and would:

  1. Suggest that the extension of the bike path fits within the recreation objectives
  2. Ensure that the Parade Grounds (owned by the town and managed by the Ferry District) be changed from 10-acre zoning to designated parkland or open space.

We respectfully request that the Town Supervisor continue to be proactive in moving the bike path extension forward. The Recreational Path Foundation has made several beneficial contacts and will need some input from the town as they move ahead. They are working with the Navy to gather all relevant information and will need the Town to review and approve the safety design of the plan.

At our suggestion, John McGillian and members of the Recreational Path Foundation committee would like to come to Southold for a meeting and discuss steps to move the process forward. Fishers Island needs to get this transfer done for the sake of the path, but also for the benefit of the Town, as part of the existing road is encroaching on the Navy property now. This transfer would seem to be good for all interested parties and the ICB is dedicated to help make this happen.

The ICB believes that an informed community is a more productive one. With that in mind, we ask that in addition to getting a three-year projection of Fishers related projects from the Highway Department that the following questions be answered in the coming weeks:

  1. Over the past 5 years on average what percent of the Highway Department’s expenditures have been spent at Fishers Island
  2. Over the last 5 years on average how much of the Highway Departments yearly expenditures on Fishers Island has been for capital improvements and major repairs versus salaries and routine maintenance. How does this compare to other hamlets?

Additionally, as part of our safety initiative, the ICB will be submitting a formal request to the Town addressing the need for a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Montauk and Oriental Ave.

Lastly, the ICB invites you to come back to the Island for our Columbus Day meeting this year. I think that will give us more time to talk in-depth about some of these ideas and issues. Our meeting is scheduled for October 12th at 4:00 pm. We recognize that this is a busy time and if this is not ideal for you, please consider another time. Our monthly meetings are on the second Tuesdays of the month.

Thank you for your time.


Willard Soper,
President, Island Community Board
P.O. Box 464
Fishers Island, NY 06390

cc: Louisa Evans
John McGillian

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