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Silver Beach lagoon plan dead in the water

COURTESY PHOTO | Issues surrounding the Silver Beach lagoon were discussed at Tuesday's Town Board work session.
COURTESY PHOTO | Issues surrounding the Silver Beach lagoon were discussed at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

Renovating the Silver Beach lagoon seems to be a non-starter after Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

A January 29, 2016 public hearing had been scheduled to discuss plans to make the lagoon more accessible to boats and solve problems with empty slips, old gear in the water, illegal subletting [of town-registered moorings] and boats bumping into each other. The cost of the project was estimated at about $25,000, which would come out of the town’s Waterways Fund to complete dredging and install pilings.

But after an informal 3-1 vote taken by the board Tuesday, it was decided to cancel the public hearing.  Councilman Peter Reich, the Town Board’s liaison to the Waterways Management Advisory Council, where the renovation idea originated, cast the lone vote to keep the January public hearing on the schedule as a “fact finding” session.

At the WMAC meeting Monday night, Mr. Reich reported, the six-members had split on keeping the lagoon status quo or go back to the drawing board for a new plan.

In other business:  Building Inspector William Banks discussed a dilapidated building he had first informed the board about in August 2014. The structure, at 61 North Menantic Road, is described as a barn that has become a habitat for rodents and is a fire hazard, Mr. Banks said.

“The building should be torn down,” Mr. Banks said. “It’s beyond any reasonable salvation.”

The problem, he said, is that there are four family members “on the deed” of the property and “one is making it difficult for anything to be done,” while the others are asking the town to take action.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty said the town could condemn the building. “If anything, we’re enhancing the propriety,” he added.

It was decided that the owners would be given a 60-day notice to remove the structure or the town would start proceedings to demolish it.

Shelter Island Craft Brewery owner James Hull was asked at the December 4 Town Board meeting to present a new, up-dated survey of the property on North Ferry Road. At Tuesday’s work session, Supervisor Dougherty said that request was accepted and plans for a survey were underway.