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Town Board work session report

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Town Hall

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Town Hall

Background checks are coming for certain town employees.

Town Attorney Laury Dowd told the Town Board at its work session Tuesday that the recently formed Safety Committee has proposed to check the backgrounds of new hires plus some current employees and volunteers. The employees affected would be those who spend one-on-one time with youths under 18, people who enter the homes of residents over 60 and Emergency Medical Services personnel.

The town would use an online service that charges about $25 per person. Ms. Dowd estimated there were about 50 employees who now would be checked.

Councilman Peter Reich suggested there also be random background checks after an initial investigation.

In other business: The Heights Property Owners Corporation has requested permission to tow cars parked on Grand Avenue during snowstorms to keep the street open. There would be no fine and cars would be towed somewhere else in the neighborhood. Police Chief Jim Read said the idea has been kicking around for some time and suggested the HPOC propose a local law and representatives come to a work session.

•  Before asphalt bids area advertised, the board wants to know what roads will be worked on and approximately how much asphalt will be required.

• The MS4 Committee have requested that Fresh Pond be tested. Ms. Dowd suggested asking John Hallman to take a sample of the pond’s water for nitrates, phosphates and coliforms “and several other things” for a cost of under $1,000.

• Supervisor Jim Dougherty said town representatives will meet with representatives of Hauppauge’s Cashin Associates to resolve a bill of $112,000 for engineering services for the Second Causeway project. The fees submitted by Cashin originally should have cost the town $150,000 to be reimbursed by the New York State Department of Transportation. But the firm is billing the town an extra $112,000 for what it claims were delays, changes and clarification in the design of the project, and required re-bidding.

“As of now, we haven’t paid the $112,000 and have no immediate plans to do so,” Mr. Dougherty said. “At this point, Cashin and the Town of Shelter Island are cooperating.”

• Supervisor Dougherty commented on a Reporter story on a Water Advisory Committee meeting, where Chairman John Hallman said the town should do something for owners whose wells were salted as a result of recent tropical storms. Mr. Dougherty said the information he’s received has so far been anecdotal. Mr. Reich noted a couple of instances where wells have been salted. Councilman Paul Shepherd said providing public water would cost tens of millions of dollars and was not a viable option. Mr. Reich said he had spoken with a county official who said salted wells can often be a temporary problem. He suggested those affected could get drinking water from a designated spot on the Island until the issues are resolved. Mr. Shepherd said, “That’s not the worst idea.”