Town Board ready to raise user fees

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty accepts a $6,500 check from Mark Kanarvogal of the Shelter Island EMS Foundation at the Town Board work session Tuesday. The funds will help pay for an automated CPR device.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty returned to the Town Board Tuesday afternoon after an absence of several weeks to lead the board’s work session.

Mr. Dougherty had spent time in the hospital with a viral infection and also recuperated at home. He’s been  battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for several months. And last week Mr. Dougherty’s wife of 42 years, Nancy, passed away after a long illness.

Mr. Dougherty reported that the town had depsoited a check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $85,476 to reimburse town expenses caused by  Hurricane Sandy. This is the first payment from FEMA. Police Chief Jim Read, who also heads the town’s emergency management committee, has said Shelter Island has applied for $350,000 to the federal agency. Turning to fees, the board agreed with Councilman Ed Brown’s suggestion that applications for constructing living areas should be put on sliding scale above 8,500 square feet.

Currently, anything from 6,000 square feet to 8,499 costs $7,500. And above 8,500 square feet costs $10,000. After that, “there’s no ceiling,” Mr. Brown said.

His proposal  is to add $1 for every square-foot above 10,000. The board agreed with the idea.

The board was also in agreement with  a proposal by Councilman Peter Reich, who was absent from the work session, to raise fees extending mooring applications, and then discussed beach parking fees.

It was agreed to craft a resolution raising the nonresident parking fees from the current level of $75 a month and $200 a season to $100 a month and $250 a season.

All fee hikes will be voted on at Friday’s Town board meeting.