Town Board looks at generators and Herrmann’s Castle plans

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Water Advisory Committee met Monday at Town Hall  to discuss a 2012 ban on off-Island Water use.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Shelter Island Town board met Tuesday afternoon at Town Hall.

Tuesday’s Town Board work session was taken up with a review of wetland applications for future drafting and consideration, a discussion of invasive plant species and what to do about emergency power sources for the town.

At last week’s work session Police Chief James Read, who is also the emergency management coordinator for the town, told the board generators to provide alternate power sources were essential in light of severe storms battering the Island two years in a row.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty, who was absent Tuesday because of illness, had agreed last week with Chief Read’s plan to purchase new generators for the police headquarters and the Town Hall’s three buildings. The current generator at police headquarters, which Chief Read termed “underpowered”, would be transferred to Justice Hall.

Supervisor Dougherty had said it was important for the morale of residents to see the town functioning through an extended power outage.

Councilwoman Christine Lewis was skeptical of the idea Tuesday, noting that in an emergency people wanted lights, heat and water and not necessarily a symbol that Town Hall had power.

“Let’s not have an exalted sense of government,” Ms. Lewis said.

When Justice Hall was mentioned again as receiving a generator, Councilman Paul Shepherd wondered if someone was expecting “a nuclear strike.”

Councilman Ed Brown reiterated his wait-and-see attitude on any new purchases, preferring to look at first quarter financial data.
Councilman Peter Reich along with Chief Read and Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. will report to the board on prices and generator capacities.

The board spent the lion’s share of its time reviewing a wetlands application with multiple copies of surveys passed around by Zach Vella for the Herrmann’s Castle property on Shore Road. Mr. Vella wants to reconstruct the imposing structure originally built in 1973.

Councilman Peter Reich said after the meeting that he’s never in 28 years of reviewing plans seen “a survey with more stuff in it.”

After extensive review, it was agreed the applicant will provide more information.

The board spoke briefly about a draft resolution listing invasive plant species the town can remove from town property. Near the end of the meeting, resident Frances Morino asked if here was any initiative to help homeowners with destructive species.

There was none, the board responded, although Mr. Shepherd said in the future an educational effort might be in the cards.
A draft resolution for a wetlands application by Andrew Gitlin to construct a single-family dwelling at 70 Peconic Avenue was reviewed and will most likely be voted on at the February 1 Town Board meeting.

Another wetlands application was reviewed in draft resolution for a pool to be constructed at 142 G North Ferry Road with the board agreeing to schedule a vote for February 1.