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Town preserves Congdon Road lot

JULIE LANE PHOTO Chairman of the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board Gordon Gooding won Town Board approal Friday for the acquisition ofan open spaces waterfront lot on Congdon Road near the town dock.

JULIE LANE PHOTO
Chairman of the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board Gordon Gooding won Town Board approal Friday for the acquisition of an open spaces waterfront lot on Congdon Road.

Shelter Island will soon add to its preserved land, spending $800,000 for a 0.95-acre site at 46 Congdon Road.

The Town Board Friday voted unanimously to support the acquisition of the lot that has been owned by Peter and Elizabeth Scudder at what Supervisor Jim Dougherty called a “bargain sale price.”

The waterfront lot was valued by three independent assessors at being worth between $100,000 and $400,000 more than what was paid, the supervisor said.

Money from the Community Preservation Fund will cover the purchase. That’s the money collected from purchasers of properties on the Island by way of a 2 percent tax.

The lot is at the end of Congdon Road near the town dock and because it will be kept as open space, it will be one less lot in that area releasing wastes into the water from an inadequate septic system.

“The property has no building structures on it and is to be preserved in its natural vegetated state,” according to Community Preservation Fund Advisory Committee Chairman Gordon Gooding.

It will be called Burns, Halsey, Scudder Shorefront Preserve, he said.

Mr. Gooding and Preservation Fund committee member Edward Shillingburg were on hand at Friday’s meeting to receive the good news that the deal they had negotiated with the land owners was being approved.

Councilman Jim Colligan  called the acquisition “a great piece of property.”

Piercing tax cap

As expected, the Town Board made it official Friday that it could, if necessary, pierce the state-imposed tax rate cap. Under the state law, a municipality can pierce the tax rate cap only by securing a vote of at least 60 percent of its city or town boards. The vote to allow Shelter Island to pierce the cap if necessary was unanimous.

The Town Board is engaged in budget meetings with department heads and committee members and there are still significant numbers outstanding so the supervisor’s proposed budget hasn’t been totaled yet. It’s expected that the total will be determined before the end of October and a public hearing on the 2018 budget will be held November 8, the day after election day.

Residents don’t get to vote on the town budget, but do have an opportunity to comment on it prior to its formal adoption.

Applications

The Town Board is still wrestling with two applications — one for a major renovation to a house at 2 Ram Island Drive that also needs a wetlands permit and the other for a wetlands permit affecting work on a house at 37D Westmoreland Drive.

Matt Sherman of Sherman Engineering represented Thomas Roush, who owns the Ram Island Drive house, and the other, Joshua and Elana Levine, who own the Westmoreland property.

The Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC) recommended against the Levine application, raising questions about missing permits, revegatation plans and debris being removed from the property. The Planning Board listed a number of mitigating factors it would want to see considered for approval of the application.

Ms. Levine told the Town Board she and her husband are trying to legalize work done on the house by previous owners.

The CAC and Planning Board generally found the applications for a special permit and a wetlands permit acceptable.

In other business, the Town Board:

• Approved a mooring in Coecles Harbor for Jorge Cornejo of 47G South Ferry Road.

• Delayed action for further discussion on an application from Virginia and Richard Homan of 1 and 3 Montclair Avenue for a wetlands permit to place a 179-foot row of boulders along an eroded scarp to the east of boulders that were installed in 2013.

• Appointed David Doyle to the Community Housing Board for a term that runs until August 12, 2020.

• Appointed Amanda Gutiw as a permanent clerk typist now that she has passed the necessary Civil Service exam.

• Appointed Jennifer Beresky as a senior clerk typist now that she has passed the necessary Civil Service exam.

• Retained Lamb & Barnosky for legal services pertaining to all labor relations and employment law matters for the period of January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019.

• Appointed Marissa Fanelli as a recreation aide at the rate of $20 per hour as of October 2.

• Appointed Kelci McIntosh as a recreation aid at $20 per hour as of September 26.

• Appointed Christopher Corbett as a substitute food service work at the rate of $14.89 per hour retroactive to September 11.

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