Dory owner gets his wish: A public toilet on Bridge Street

Shelter Island
PETER BOODY PHOTO | Jack Kiffer calls at Tuesday's Town Board work session for public toilet facilities on Bridge Street.

A portable toilet will be installed for the summer season in the small parking area on the town dock off Bridge Street by May 15, Councilwoman Chris Lewis reported at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

Jack Kiffer, owner of the Dory, has been pushing for years to see a public toilet provided in the area. He and other businesspeople have said they’ve had to turn away many visitors in the summer looking to use their bathrooms.

Mr Kiffer is finally going to get his wish, according to Ms. Lewis’s announcement. She said the town will contract with a portable toilet provider to place one along the side of the small parking lot, which will mean one less parking space will be available there.

Highway Superintendent Jay Card will oversee the installation. The provider will pump out the toilet once or twice a week, as needed, Ms. Lewis said.

“The whole idea is a trial,” Ms. Lewis said. “This may not be the solution,” she later added. “I hope it works.”

Also at Tuesday’s work session, Town Attorney Laury Dowd presented highlights of her most recent annual report to the state DEC on the town’s compliance with so-called “MS4” regulations (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems). The rules require the town to take steps to reduce runoff into surface waters and to report its progress to the state. Her report, which is a filled-out state form, can be inspected on the town’s website and in print at the town clerk’s office, she said.

Town initiatives, Ms. Dowd reported, included sponsoring an environmental fair last June, adding construction site stormwater control rules to the town code, accepting “clean-up waste” at the town Recycling Center and holding a monthly STOP program at the center for residents to dispose of toxic pollutants. All contractors have been alerted to the new stormwater control rules for construction sites and building inspectors have been trained to interpret and enforce them.

The town is developing a storm sewer map, she reported, that will include all its storm drains, public and private drainage systems and eventually outfalls at bays and creeks. Also, a Dering Harbor Watershed Study is in the works in order to “retrofit current stormwater mechanisms.”

“Good housekeeping” goals listed for the Highway Department in 2012 include regularly raking the beach to keep it clean; regular maintenance of drainage filters at town parking lots; not using pesticides or fertilizers; pet waste collection bags and signs urging their use have been installed at the beaches; and dogs are prohibited on the beach from May to September.

Among other topics on Tuesday, the Town Board:

• Reviewed Rich Hogan’s American Direct LLC application to build a house with more than 6,000 square feet of habitable space at Wards Point in Shorewood (see page 1 story).

• Reviewed the stewardship plan for the town’s open space preserve at Dickerson Creek. It calls for keeping the southeast corner of the parcel cleared of brush.

• Considered locations where kayakers can enter the water and where five “Peconic Blueway Paddling Trail” signs can be posted by the Group for the East End working in conjunction with the Peconic Estuary Program.

• Heard Councilman Ed Brown explain a resolution adopted on Friday, at the board’s regular meeting, to appoint Jennifer Zacha, a part-time clerk at the Police Department, to an additional part-time clerk’s job at the Highway Department, making her a full-time town employee. He said there was no additional cost to the town above its budgeted salary totals because the highway department would not be hiring a part-time laborer as expected so the hours “were a wash.” The decision will cost the town another employee benefit package. He said it had become clear that the Highway Department needed additional support.

• Reviewed the Waterways Management Advisory Council’s plan to designate the limits of a town mooring field in the northwest corner of West Neck Bay.

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