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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Bruce Briggs was awaiting a vote in 2005 that would decide whether his property off North Menantic Road might become a site for affordable housing while allowing Mr. Briggs and his wife to retain their own house in a life estate.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Bruce Briggs was awaiting a vote in 2005 that would decide whether his property off North Menantic Road would become a site for affordable housing while allowing Mr. Briggs and his wife to retain their own house in a life estate.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

The Rolling Stones’ “Get Off of My Cloud” topped the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom.Brothers Bill and Bob Summer set a world land speed record of 409.277 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in a 1957 gold Chevrolet they names Goldenrod.

Ferdinand Marcos was elected president of the Philippines.

Time magazine reported that voters in the off-year election had turned away from partisan labels, crossed party lines and even ignored ethnic, religious and economic distinctions, choosing candidates whose opinions they thought would benefit their communities

Dodger southpaw Sandy Kofax won the Cy Young Award.

And on Shelter Island …

50 YEARS AGO
Tower at recycling center

Can it be 50 years since the town first contemplated a tower at what was, in those days,  a place known as “the dump?” Indeed. The purpose was to improve television reception on the Island since today’s ubiquitous cellphones weren’t imagined back then by except for Dick Tracy fans.

The concern at the time was that without an agreement with the New York Telephone Company to use its existing poles, there would be a plethora of new poles scattered around the town.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, there’s a move afoot to erect a second tower — this one at the Manhanset firehouse on Cobbetts Lane, despite objections from some neighbors based on concerns about safety, aesthetics and usefulness.

It will fall to the Town Board after a public hearing to determine whether the necessary special permit is issued.

30 YEARS AGO
PTSA ponders day care, field trip funding

It was 30 years ago that the Parent Teacher Student Association suggested an after-school day care program to provide a program for students whose parents’ work schedules didn’t coincide with the end of the classroom schedule.

The PTSA also pushed for an increase in field trips that had been cut back because of budgetary restrictions that resulted from a large increase in liability insurance rates.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s elementary school students have the benefit of a town-funded after-school program developed in cooperation with the Shelter Island School District.

Thanks to the Shelter Island Educational Foundation, those field trips that can’t be fully funded by the district or student fundraising happen because of grants from the foundation.

20 YEARS AGO
Tax rate up 0.7 percent

It was, of course, budget time for the town 20 years ago and the projected tax increase for 1996 was 0.7 percent. A major portion of increased spending was in a proposed 27 percent hike in salary for the town supervisor that would raise the pay from $32,900 to $42,000.

All but Councilman Hal McGee backed the increase. He argued for hiking the salary over a two-year period.

POSTSCRIPT: While the budget for 2016 isn’t yet solidified, Supervisor Jim Dougherty has suggested that his pay be hiked by 1.5 percent to $82,420. Most town employees are projected to see a 2 percent pay hike.

10 YEARS AGO

Voters poised to decide fate of affordables

Voters were poised for a vote on whether the town should acquire the Briggs property off North Menantic Road to establish affordable homes while allowing Bruce Briggs and his wife Barbara to maintain a life estate for their own house on the site.

Ultimately, there has not been a second major affordable housing community established on the Island since the construction of six houses on Bowditch Road in the mid 1990s.

POSTSCRIPT: While there is still little formal call for affordable housing, there are complaints about how expensive it is for graduates to return to the Island and establish residence without moving back home with their parents.

Young workers on the Island struggle to find rental housing and there’s some concern about whether there will be enough volunteers to fill the ranks of the fire department and ambulance service as older members phase out of those roles.

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