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Dory owner threatens suit over lack of town toilets

COURTESY PHOTO A similar public restroom, shown above, is slated to be installed at Volunteer Park for a cost of $122,000.

COURTESY PHOTO A similar public restroom, shown above, is slated to be installed at Volunteer Park.

“Should I call my lawyer?” Supervisor Jim Dougherty asked Dory owner Jack Kiffer, who was standing at the end of Tuesday’s Town Board work session with a question.

“You better,” Mr. Kiffer replied.

If other board members and those in the audience were chuckling, Mr. Kiffer was not.

At issue is his annual problem with the lack of bathrooms in the Bridge Street area, the businessman said.

The town brought in a Port-a-Potty two years ago as a temporary solution, but has been promising that a bathroom facility would be built in the area to relieve the problem.

There has been no new bathroom and Mr. Kiffer is not relieved. “The Dory is not a rest room for Shelter Island,” he said.

Since January 2016 the board has been discussing plans for a unisex restroom to be constructed at Volunteers Park. Suffolk County is on board to pay for it with $67,700 as part of the total cost of $104,670.

The Chamber of Commerce is kicking in about $35,000 for upfront costs and the town will pick up the rest. This January, board members said they hoped the bathroom would be in place by Memorial Day.

Mr. Kiffer is tired of waiting, he said. His septic system has capacity for his customers, but not another 100 who wander in over a busy weekend asking to use the bathroom. If a new bathroom isn’t in place quickly, he told the board Tuesday, he would sue.

Councilman Jim Colligan tried to dispel the anger, explaining that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was responsible for the delays. But he predicted that the new structure would be in place within four or five weeks.

“It won’t be much longer than that,” Mr. Colligan said.

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