Let it snow: Town clears roads and was prepared for worst

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Shleter Island Highway crews were out in force all night and into the morning.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Shleter Island Highway crews were out in force all night and into the morning.

With an estimated 8 inches of snow on the ground Wednesday morning, Police Chief Jim Read was gloating that his pre-storm estimate had been right on target.

“The snow was pretty light” and there were no crises overnight, despite heavy winds at times, he said.
PSEG had a crew on the Island all night, but there were no serious outages, the chief said. There was no need to open shelters at the school or the Senior Activity Center. But with persistent frigid temperatures expected over the next couple of days, the town remains ready to open the shelters if they’re needed.

By early morning, the parking lot at the Senior Activity Center had been cleared so that people will be able to access the building. Chief Red was next turning his attention to ensuring that the parking lot at the school would be cleared so if more space is needed in the event of a major power loss, there would be room to house more residents.

“We’re prepared at both locations” for whatever is needed, the chief said.

He praised PSEG for its staffing during this storm and the one on January 2.

Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. reported some issues with his trucks overnight, but said snow clearing and road sanding went smoothly. During the budgeting season, he warned the Town Board that he needed to replace two trucks, but he’s likely to see only one replaced in the year ahead.

Meanwhile, despite what has been an active early winter season, he’s not concerned about keeping his snow plowing budget on track.

“You don’t know about the weather, maybe this is the last one,” Mr. Card said about winter snowstorms.
Town Hall was closed Wednesday and a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting that had been scheduled Wednesday night will be rescheduled.

School was closed Wednesday and the budget and regular Board of Education meetings that were to be held at night were postponed until Thursday. The budget meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. to be followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. The main topic for discussion is expected to be how to proceed with the work on the antiquated heating system. The board is expected to issue a request for proposals from performance contract companies to do an energy assessment at the school that would cover the heating system. Under performance contracts, a company willing to tackle the job, would guarantee that energy savings achieved would cover the cost of work. At issue for the district is whether the project on Shelter Island will be considered large enough for a performance contractor to be willing to take on the job.

If not, the board would be forced to seek a bond to pay for the work and that would require a public referendum.