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WMAC wants pumpout facility at Yacht Club

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Marine contractor Jack Costello thought he’d finally get approval for a dock plan for his client, Jeffery Lightcap. But the WMAC said not so fast.

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Marine contractor Jack Costello thought he’d finally get approval for a dock plan for his client, Jeffery Lightcap. But the WMAC said not so fast.

Members of the Shelter Island Yacht Club will be asked to consider putting in a pumpout station or purchasing a pumpout boat to handle waste currently done at Piccozzi’s Dock.

Marc Wein, a member of the town’s Waterways Management Advisory Council and chairman of the Yacht Club’s Marine Committee, promised his WMAC colleagues the issue would be at the top of the club’s agenda.

The issue was raised at the January 21 WMAC meeting by Chairman John Needham when a dock application from the Yacht Club was discussed. Mr. Needham initially suggested tying the application to the installation of pumpout facilities, but other members favored making a request directly to the Yacht Club. There was a consensus that would be the best route, especially with Mr.

Wein’s willingness to take the request to the club’s Marine Committee.

“The Yacht Club is tremendous for the Island,” Mr. Needham said. He added that the members of the Yacht Club aren’t the problem, but his concern was about guests who might be pumping treated waste into Dering Harbor.

“It’s a wonderful facility,” member Alfred Loreto said. “Asking them to do the right thing isn’t horrible.”

There are grants available through the U.S. Department of the Interior to offset costs associated with pumpout stations.

The WMAC agreed to recommend that the Town Board approve the dock.

WebEx trial run

The January meeting had originally been scheduled for the beginning of the month, but was delayed pending installation of the WebEx system that enables members’ participation from venues other than Town Hall.

For a first run, the system operated almost without a hitch.

Three members joining the session from other venues were visible on the computer screen operated by WMAC Secretary Jeanette Flynn. But only two members — Mr. Loreto and George Zinger — were visible on the large screen in the meeting room. When member Marc Wein spoke, a blank image appeared on the large screen. Nonetheless, his voice could be heard clearly.

Still at issue is a requirement, according to the New York State Committee on Open Government, that advance notice be provided about the venue of any member using WebEx who wants to vote on an issue.

New York State law says a public body using video conferencing needs to provide an opportunity for others in the area to participate at the emote areas. Under such circumstances those participating from outside should be in venues that “can adequately accommodate members of the public who wish to attend.”

Town Attorney Laury Dowd reportedly maintained that it wasn’t necessary to advertise such outside venues, according to Ms. Flynn. Ms. Dowd was not at the meeting and wasn’t available for comment.

It’s unclear how much the WebEx system will cost the town if it decides to retain it. Currently it’s a trial run at no cost, Ms. Flynn said.

No ‘slam dunk’
Marine contractor Jack Costello though he’d have a “slam dunk” on an application from Jeffrey Lightcap at 21 Heights Road for changes to docks.

Mr. Costello has been arguing the case and making changes to the plans for several months and thought he had a compromise solution, But it wasn’t to be — at least at the January meeting. Mr. Costello said his client, who had taken over a site that was previously operated as a marina, had scaled back docks for private use only and had given up a lot of what previously existed.

In return, Mr. Lightcap was seeking approval of a splash board that would stand alone, used to diminish wave action in the area that could potentially damage boats.

Committee members feared that would set a precedent, even though Mr. Costello argued that the specific circumstances were unique to the situation.

Mr. Geraghty had previously encouraged Mr. Costello to hire an engineer to examine the problem and make recommendations for a solution. That didn’t happen, but with the changes, Mr. Costello said he believed Mr. Lightcap had done everything possible to earn approval.

An existing dock still exceeded the allowable length and the splash board would increase the nonconformity, Mr. Geraghty said.

Initially, everyone seemed to object, although with further conversation, there appeared to be a possibility a few members were moved by Mr. Costello’s arguments.

Mr. Eklund ultimately said he thought the issue of setting a precedent could be dealt with. If Mr. Lightcap would give up a boat lift, he would be inclined to vote for approval. Mr. Wein agreed.
On February 1, the WMAC will reexamine the application and determine if there is enough movement on the part of members to recommend approval by the Town Board.

In other actions, the WMAC:
• Recommended that dredging at the Silver Beach Lagoon go forward as soon as old gears and other debris can be removed. Originally planned pilings have been scrapped and that was expected to lower the cost of the project.
• Approved by votes of 6-0 a dock application for Marijane Schrader at 74 Ram Island Drive; moorings for Scott Laton at 4 Bayshore Drive and Holly Aronew at 47H Foxen Creek Road; and a dock application for Condon Point LLC of 34 North Cartwright Road.
• Delayed action on a dock application for Rob Bethge and Melissa Shepstone at 5 Wheeler Road pending additional information from Mr. Costello.