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This week in Shelter Island history

JULIE LANE PHOTO Mike Scheibel today presiding over a recent Shelter Island Town Deer and Tick Committee meeting at Town Hall is the man who developed a management plan for Robin’s Island after it was purchased by multi-millionaire Louis Bacon.

JULIE LANE PHOTO
Mike Scheibel today presiding over a recent Shelter Island Town Deer and Tick Committee meeting at Town Hall is the man who developed a management plan for Robin’s Island after it was purchased by multi-millionaire Louis Bacon.

50 YEARS AGO
Planning Boards hold joint meeting
Planning Board members from Shelter Island and Southold met in 1964 to exchange views and experiences. The aim was to discuss issues pertaining to subdivisions, water supply, public recreation and ways in which each Board could work with its town building inspector.

One of the problems concerning Southold planners that hadn’t yet touched the Island was water supply. Southold was exploring the feasibility of piping fresh water in from Connecticut to meet anticipated demand.

POSTSCRIPT: Water concerns on Shelter Island have surpassed those of Southold that taps in the Suffolk County Water Authority. That’s something most Islanders want to avoid as the Water Advisory Committee, the Irrigation Committee and the Town Board explore ways to protect the town’s fragile aquifer.

The two boards function differently today, with Southold not only considering subdivision plans as is the case here, but also doing site plan reviews of projects for that North Fork community. The Shelter Island Planning Board doesn’t generally get involved in site plans, meaning developments that meet zoning requirements and don’t need approval for a subdivision are able to proceed with Building Department permits.

30 YEARS AGO
Former supervisor blasts attempt to turn dock over to transients
When Mal Nevel was defeated by George Kontje for supervisor, it was with Mr. Kontje’s promise to remove Mr. Nevel’s boat from the Bridge Street dock. So when that became an issue for the full Town Board in 1984, it was natural for Mr. Nevel to argue that efforts to use the dock only for transients and not issue commercial permits was aimed only at him.

There were long debates and a public hearing that gradually eroded support for the legislation.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, one side of that dock is reserved for commercial boaters while transients can use the other side for docking.

20 YEARS AGO
DEC’s Scheibel named to develop Robins Island plan
Mike Scheibel was a member of the The Nature Conservancy Mashomack Preserve Advisory Board and a Department of Environmental Conservation professional wildlife biologist in the spring of 1994 when he was granted a year’s leave of absence from the DEC job to develop a conservation management plan for Robin’s Island.

The 435-acre island had just been purchased by multi-millionaire Wall Streeter Louis Bacon. There had been efforts to preserve Robin’s Island from development. But Mr. Bacon topped the more than $9 million bid, buying the island for $11 million.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s headline would likely read “Shelter Island’s Mike Scheibel” who is now Mashomack Preserve’s natural resources manager and chairman of the town’s Deer and Tick Committee.

10 YEARS AGO
Five candidates seek two board seats
Ten years ago this month, there were five candidates vying for two open Board of Education seats and the district was putting up a budget that would raise spending by more than $1 million.

There were few who attended workshops or a formal hearing on the $7.78 million proposal and little indication that the budget would be soundly defeated by voters later in the month.

Shelter Island was hardly alone as 36 percent of Suffolk County school budgets met the same fate.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, there are three incumbents seeking re-election to the school board with no challengers and a $10.47 million budget that stays within the state-imposed tax cap while still enabling expansion of staff and educational programs.

There has been little community involvement in budget workshops, but today, the information is available both on the school’s website and through recorded sessions that interested voters can watch from the comfort of their homes.

j.lane@sireporter.com