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Money matters at Town Hall

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Shelter Island Town Hall

Shelter Island Town Hall

The Town Board discussed changing the policy on purchasing goods and services at its work session Tuesday.

The board was in agreement to increase the amount that can be spent without a public bid process from $10,000 to $20,000 for supplies and equipment, and raising public works contracts to $35,000 from $20,000 without going through public bidding.

Town Attorney Laury Dowd pointed out that even without the bid process, multiple quotes must be received for any project and a final decision will have to be approved by the chief financial officer of the town, who is the supervisor.

Councilman Peter Reich had a suggestion that was agreed to, that there should be an addition in the language of the draft proposal that after ‘All purchases of goods and services” the phrase “for a specific project” be included.

Simple projects often grow substantially more costly, he said, giving an example of approving the cost of a new generator that runs on propane, but failing to consider the costs of tanks to be purchased, electricity hooked up and a cement slab constructed.

“We should know the total cost,” he said.

In other financial news, Supervisor Jim Dougherty said the town received a check from Suffolk County for its share of its Community Preservation Fund revenues of $119,908, which, the supervisor added is trending up.

Also known as the “2-percent fund,” the CPF is financed by a 2-percent tax buyers pay on real estate deals, with the first $250,000 of the sale price exempted from the tax. That tax collected then is solely dedicated to purchasing and maintaining open space properties.

The supervisor also reported that the county had sent a check for the town’s mortgage tax revenues for the final quarter of 2013 for $100,130. That brought the total for mortgage tax revues for the year to $420,333.

This is about $145,000 more than was budgeted for 2014.

In other business: The board discussed updating the Homeowner’s Handbook, which has been not been revised in more than a year, “lost in the shuffle,” the supervisor said, because of other pressing issues.

This is a guide that is usually available at Town Hall — but the town seems to be out of them at present — and given free to local realtors. The board discussed updating the handbook in light of pending issues, such as the irrigation moratorium.
Ms. Dowd said she would make changes to the handbook online and Councilwoman Chris Lewis will poll the realtors to see if they have any of the handbooks left.

East End Hospice has asked the town if they can display a banner over Route 114 at the Presbyterian Church promoting their annual fundraiser on June 7 at the yacht club. EEH would like to have the banner in place from May 1 to June 9.
Supervisor Dougherty thought this was a long time, and

Councilman Brown also was concerned about setting a precedent for another non-profit, volunteer organizations who might want to have the same privileges.

Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar said she will research if there are conflicts with other events, notably the Shelter Island 10K.