ISLAND COMMUNITY BOARD
P.O. Box 464, Fishers Island, NY 06390
ICB Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Total Participants: 91
The ICB meets monthly in a public forum with the community to review and discuss Island priorities. Minutes of monthly ICB meetings are posted on the ICB website.
ICB Representatives: Willard Soper (President), Candace Whitman (Vice President), Dicky Riegel (Treasurer – Seasonal), Meg Atkin (Year-Round), George de Menil (Seasonal), Nate Malinowski (Year-Round)
Willard: Minutes of November 10th meeting approved.
Willard: 1) Pleased to report that Vinny Orlando (Southold) responded re road and sidewalk repairs; assessment will take place between January and March 2021, and repairs will be scheduled for the late spring, and early fall if necessary. If there are any areas that are in significant disrepair, please send info to MaryBeth for forwarding to Southold.
2) Sidewalk repairs are now in the hands of the Town Engineer, Michael Collins, who is unable to attend meeting; he has sent report to:
Louisa: Surveying has been done, a draft design is due before Christmas; and Michael expects to have the job bid/contracted out by March. The work should be completed by Memorial Day.
Christian Arsenault (FIS): Thanks to all who turned out and voted for the School referendum on Tuesday (Dec 1); referendum passed; grateful to community for the support for FIS. School is in the final design stage of the project; then will seek NYSED approvals and send the work out for bid. Timeline has construction scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022.
Happy to report that, to date, there have been no positive COVID cases reported at FIS.
Willard queried whether the FIS student population was likely to decrease after the holiday, and Christian replied that two families withdrew in the fall; expectation is that everyone in School now will stay through the rest of the school year.
Geb Cook (Ferry Dist): Ferry traffic on Thanksgiving weekend was significantly decreased compared to previous years. December schedule is posted and everyone is encouraged to make reservations for all ferries, and to sign up for email blasts that will alert to last-minute changes to schedule, i.e. weather, tides, etc. Billy Bloethe has stepped down from the Ferry Board after five years of service; the Board has appointed Tom Cashel, chairman of the finance committee, to fill unexpired term. Re finances: revenue is still down, but ferry district has recovered somewhat from the low last spring due to increased efficiency, surcharge on rates (will be reviewed by the Board in January).
Mecky Kuijpers (reporting for Chris Ingram/IHP on Thanksgiving weekend): Four positive COVID cases identified in two separate groups: two had been off-Island, returned, tested positive and quarantined themselves; their contacts tested negative. Second group tested negative before coming to the Island, and subsequently tested positive after spending some time unmasked in social contact—at the Legion, in cars on the ferry, in social group(s) in homes, etc. This breakout due to not following established (and well publicized) guidelines and protocols on Fishers. Encourage everyone to adhere to protocols re masks and social distancing.
Chris: Socializing unmasked and in close quarters, such as at the Legion, and then going to a residence or work place exposes all those contacts. Cases of the virus are on the increase, and hospitals nationwide are again experiencing over-crowding. Regarding vaccines: it is very early, and the distribution plan hasn’t yet been established. The medical community, front-line workers, elderly—especially those in hospitals or care facilities–will be prioritized. Chris spoke to YNH, and they did not have Fishers on their list; that has been amended. Chris also spoke to Suffolk County and the NY State department of health, and they are just beginning to provide information on distribution of vaccine. Chris and his staff will pursue, as well as others (Candy, Louisa, Willard…)
Willard: Candy is the ‘point person’ for contact with Lee Zeldin’s office; any information for contact with that office should be sent through Candy.
Willard: Meetings for the four tax districts are open to the public; it would be helpful if these meetings could take place on Zoom while we are following pandemic protocols. Would also like to see Tax District(s) budgets posted on fishersisland.net. MaryBeth to follow up with the tax districts to have budgets sent to Jane for posting.
Dave Burnham (Waste Mngmnt): Our meetings are usually the 4th Wednesday of the month and they are on Zoom; get in touch with Beth Stern to be added to the list. 2021 budget is available on Waste Management website as well as on fishnet. Re 2020 budget, WM expects to be under by $100,000 to $150,000. Personnel: Please send regards to Annette, who is home recovering from surgery, and to Alan who will be leaving WM at the end of this month.
Willard: Reminder that voting for Waste Management and Fire Commissioner is tonight at the Community Center.
Paul Giles (Fire Dist): Moving forward with design for new Fire House building; hope to have a drawing to post shortly; expect to go out to bid in the next two months, and have more information available on final design, costs, etc. There will be a referendum vote on budget increase after all information has been presented. FD is looking to hire a full-time coordinator for this project who will also be an EMT and EMT instructor. FD has secured two off-Island people for emergency support during Christmas holidays, as was done for Thanksgiving. Paul/FD are working with Chris to assure that all front-line workers here are high on the list for COVID vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
Candy (ICB/UC): Invite everyone to join the virtual Community Choir that will sing at UC Christmas Eve service (via Zoom). Chris Dollar (FIS) will be coordinating; details will be posted on fishnet.
Chris I: I think Gov Cuomo is about to issue new restrictions regarding indoor dining/socializing. FI Legion may be subject to these new restrictions.
Question: Can you give a summary of COVID cases on Fishers during Thanksgiving? Mecky: A total of four positive COVID cases after Thanksgiving—two of known origin: came from off-Island and were quarantined on Island; did not spread to any community members. Two other cases tested negative before coming to Fishers, and positive when they got tested after leaving FI; these two cases interacted with others on Island. Chris: These two individuals are quarantining at home off-Island. IHP reached out and tested all those who were believed to have come in contact with the two positive cases; so far all tests have come back negative.
Question: Is it possible to have been exposed to any of the positive cases and to not have been informed? Mecky: I can only contact trace based on what I’ve been told; if anyone socialized at the Legion, for example, it would be a good idea to get tested; also if experiencing any symptoms or not feeling well, contact IHP for a test.
Question: Is there still signage at the Ferry re COVID protocols, mask-wearing, etc. Geb: There are multiple signs on the ferry and in/around office reminding people to keep masks on.
Question re job openings at Fire and Waste Mngmnt: are these jobs posted anywhere? Or will they be posted? David B (WM): No plans at the present time to hire additional people. Paul (FD): Open positions are posted; Catherine Edwards, FD Secretary, has listings. Positions have also been offered “in house”. Question to Paul: Are FD meetings on Zoom? And dates posted on fishnet? Paul: Yes to both questions. Question: When do Fire Dept meetings take place?
Paul: Meetings are on the first Monday after the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm.
Williard: ICB and all Island send condolences to Kapri on the passing of her father. Unless necessary, ICB will not meet in January. The next meeting will be on February 9, 2021.
George de Menil: Attended the most recent Fire Dist meeting on Zoom; very informative.
Willard: Happy Holidays everyone!