It had been estimated that the town had $440,000 to spend on projects in 2017 aimed at improving and protecting water.
But Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board Chairman Gordon Gooding reported last week that the actual amount the town could have spent in 2017 was $410,550. Former supervisor Jim Dougherty had put forth the $440,000 estimate for water quality projects in 2017.
Last year was the first time that up to 20 percent of Community Preservation Fund (CPF) money — which comes from a 2 percent tax East End property buyers pay for preservation of land — could be used for water protection programs.
But the local CPF Advisory Board has allocated only $105,000 to provide up to $15,000 to each of seven applicants who want to upgrade existing septic systems to those that curb nitrogen reaching the aquifer.
The remainder of the money reverted back to fund since,as Mr. Gooding explained, “Whatever is not spent reverts into the CPF fund and cannot be carried forward.”
A new allocation will be forthcoming, probably by March, Mr. Gooding said.
As of the end of the first nine months of 2017, the town had received $1.36 million in total CPF revenues, he said, noting that unless “something unbelievable occurs” at the end of the year from real estate transactions, the amount the town adds to its coffers is expected to be less than what came in from the 2016 CPF tax.
Revenues from the tax at the end of September on Shelter Island were down by 7.4 percent compared with those from the previous year, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., who tracks that data.
Should that 7.4 percent decline hold, the town could expect to receive about $380,170 to spend on improvement projects in 2018.