ICB Minutes November 12, 2019

by Jane Ahrens

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

ICB November Meeting
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
Community Center Multi-Purpose Room

Attendance 24

ICB Representatives: Candace Whitman (Vice President), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), Nate Malinowski (Year-Round), George de Menil (Seasonal), Geb Cook (Ferry District), Jeanie Cook (Community Center), Jim Baker (Utility Company), David Burnham (Waste Management), Matt Edwards (Walsh Park)

Staff: Zack Hoch (Secretary), Mere Doyen (Island Liaison),

On Call: Willard Soper (President), Dicky Riegel (Treasurer), Mimi Gary

Public: Bob Evans, Ken Edwards, Ellen & Harry Parker, Tom Siebens, Amy & Dirk Harris, Sarah Porter, Staley Sednaoui, Claudia DeSimone

Absent: Marc Rubenstein (IHP), Tom Sargent (Conservancy), Elizabeth McCance (Museum), Louisa Evans

Approve October Minutes

Willard motioned to approve the October minutes written by Zack Hoch. The minutes were unanimously passed.


Willard Soper stated that on September 25th ICB sent a letter to Scott Russell identifying island priorities. The letter speaks on increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety, addressing sidewalk gaps, expanding bike network routes and asks for financial information regarding how the Town spends their money and how they have spent money over the past 5 years and how it compares to other hamlets. On October 30th, Willard received an email from Scott Russell stating that after January 1st the engineer is going to assemble a bid package to start sidewalk repairs in late spring or early summer 2020. There may be a conflict with the lead pipe removal and service main upgrades, but Scott does not want to delay the sidewalk project any longer and all parties will have to work around it. Louisa Evans has sent a 2nd letter identifying areas on Montauk Ave and stretch between the ball field and Village Market where the 2nd phase of sidewalk repairs could be included.

Willard reported that Scott also stated in his email that a letter has been sent from the Town to the Navy regarding an easement of the property where the bike path extension would occur. (NOTE: Subsequently, ICB has learned that a letter has not been sent as it is pending an up to date survey.) Questions regarding the services of the Highway Department must be answered by the Highway Superintendent.

On November 6th a letter was received from highway superintendent Vinny Orlando. The letter stated that the Town of Southold has one Highway Budget for all hamlets in Southold including Fishers Island. The Town does not have or keep separate budget expenditures records for each hamlet. Repairs are made on an as-needed basis. The Town also does not separate out the time and money with repairs and parts for highway trucks and lawn mowing equipment for FI. Vinny suggests looking into who hired an outside company a few years back to do an extensive audit of funding spent on Fishers Island. Previous capital projects from Highway funding include the purchase of a Street Sweeper, a new Salt Barn, sand and salt quantities, resurfacing projects and the upcoming sidewalk project.

Willard noted that Peter Brinkerhoff has offered to pay for another audit. This will be explored further.

Annual Report

Nate Malinowski expects the Annual Report to be ready for the January ICB meeting. Nate asked 23 various island organizations to respond. Deadline to respond is December 15th. Nate gathered an estimate from Minuteman Press to print 50 booklets for $650. The Board agreed that the Strategic Alignment should again be included. President, Willard Soper has agreed to write a cover letter for the report. Hard copies of the report will be available at the Library and Community Center. Willard made a motion to approve the cost of the printing quote. Motion moved and carried. (NOTE: It was later determined that 25 copies will be printed in order to save funds.)

Treasurer’s Report

Dicky Riegel reported there is approximately $4,900 in the ICB checking account with a few pending expenditures. Dicky made a motion to approve Zack’s 75 hours for the past quarter. Motion moved and carried. A new audio system has been purchased for $944.89. Mere and Zack will have it prepared for the December meeting. ICB needs a new printer. Willard made a motion to authorize Mere to spend up to $350 on a new printer. Motion moved and carried. The current office space for ICB provided by the Community Center may not be available year-round. However, office space is available in the Ferry District’s Annex building. Cost of rent to be determined. The ICB appreciates the support from the Community Center, F.I. Ferry and The Lighthouse Works while looking for an office.

Safety & Signage

George de Menil had been asked to research some of the safety concerns that ICB had heard over the summer. George prepared a Power Point presentation about safety and street signs on Fishers Island. Safety improvements could include added signage, cutting back brush to improve sight lines, adding visibility mirrors or repainting lines and crosswalks, or identifying rusty, faded or missing street signs.

Four intersections so far have been brought to attention.

1.     The intersection of Montauk Ave and Oriental Ave has only 1 stop sign on Montauk.

2.     The second intersection is of Crescent Ave and Athol Crescent by the Union Chapel.

3.     Intersection 3 is a confusing three-way intersection at Fox Avenue and Mansion House Drive with a triangle in the middle.

4.     Oriental and Equestrian Ave. There is a short stop sign and faded road paint.

George asks people to get their suggestions to him by March. Feedback can be sent to FINY.Southold@gmail.com

George’s full Power Point presentation will be made available in fishnet (insert link)

Ferry District

Geb Cook reported on the upcoming rate changes for the Ferry District. There will no longer be peak and off-peak rates. One fare, year-round. There still will be resident and non-resident rates. Round-trip resident passenger tickets will change from $11peak/$8 off-peak to $10 year-round. Resident vehicles from $28peak/$19 off-peak to $25 year-round. Senior/Child residents from $8 peak/ $6 off-peak to $7 year-round. Student rates will be $7. Reservations will be $10 during peak season and $5 off-peak. No driver rate remains $15, and freight/contractors’ rates to stay the same. Non-resident rates from $25 peak/$19 off-peak to $25 year-round. Non-resident vehicles from $56 peak/$40 off-peak to $60 year-round. Senior/child rates from $18 peak/$14 off-peak to $18 year-round. These fare adjustments could go into effect as soon as January 1st. These rates are still being discussed and more details will be available soon.

Geb stated the Enabling Act formed in 1947 is outdated and some pieces no longer make sense. To be eligible to qualify as a Ferry Commissioner, people no longer must own property on Fishers Island. Eligible candidates must be registered voters.

Tree Committee

Meg Atkin read the proposed letter draft from the Tree Committee that will be sent to the town after approval from the Board. There are concerns regarding the trees specifically on Whistler Ave. Hazardous trees have been identified and photographed. There are also 5 stumps remaining from trees which were taken down years ago. Meg and the ICB would like to ask for assistance from the Town in removal of the trees and replacement where possible. Whistler Ave is phase 1 of the tree projects. There are some historic trees on this road that must be protected. Meg suggests attention be paid to the healthy trees during the upcoming sidewalk replacement project.

Highway department employee, Jamie Rodgers can apply for assistance if needed. David Burnham explained that in the past Race Rock has been subcontracted by the Highway Department to consult on the needs of the trees and do some of the work. Candy suggested that the tree committee should send Meg’s letter and wait to hear back, but in the meantime be proactive and prepare an estimate from a local landscaper for what needs to be done and be ready to send it for Southold’s approval.

Year-Rounders Meeting Notes

Candace Whitman reported on the discussion that occurred at the year-rounders meeting. Discussion topics included:

  • Large puddle that forms on the way to the transfer station. How can the issued be resolved, and who is responsible to fix and pay for it?
  • Cost of living on Fishers Island. George de Menil stated that electricity on FI is the highest in New York State. Public services, utilities, rent, taxes, insurance all factor into living costs.

Meg Atkin reported that beginning on October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver license, permit or ID card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.), or enter military bases and certain federal facilities. Information about the Real Id can be found here. ICB will work with the Town/County to see if a DMV employee will come to FI to help people update their ID.  For now, gather your paperwork and have the Utility Company add your street address to your bill and have the bill in both names if you are in a married household.

New Business
There was a handout distributed that gave information about the proposed dredge dump site for dredging material from the Thames River. This site is close to Fishers Island. Willard noted that Fishers Island is opposed to the plan and said that an Amicus brief was filed by attorney Barry Bryan. Tom Sargent will be on the Dec. agenda for an update.

Willard also urged the Board to read the Orient Point Civic Association’s response to the Southold Comprehensive Plan as it is a good model for ICB to assess opportunities and threats. Willard assigned Rob Hunt and Mere to get a committee together this winter to explore a similar response for Fishers Island.

Adjourned 7:15 pm

The next ICB meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 10th at 5:30 pm 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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