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Town Board looks at road code

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Public Works Commissioner Jay Card.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO Public Works Commissioner Jay Card.

Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. and the Town Board are working on a resolution they want to adopt affecting the standards under which roads will be built.

While Mr. Card told the Board at Tuesday’s work session he doesn’t envision the town putting in any new roads, developers of housing communities would likely be installing roads to serve those areas. What he wants is to ensure that those roads will meet the necessary standards to wear well and not break down early.

The basic state standards for what are considered “low use roads,” such as those on the Island, would be referenced in the town’s resolution without having to spell out the details of the code in the local law.

There are other issues that Mr. Card is examining, including addressing aprons along the edge of private property and how they might affect vision for drivers if they have high plantings or, in the case of commercial areas, signs that block vision.

The highway chief also said he had a call from Verizon that will be sending a crew to begin removing the so-called “zombie poles” — poles that were replaced by PSEG with new poles. Both Verizon and Cablevision have wires connected to the old poles and they must be removed.

Fresh Ponds resident Vincent Novak told the Town Board Tuesday he’s concerned about materials being used to hold the new poles in the ground. He said in East Hampton, the town became concerned about the material affecting the drinking water and convinced the utility company to place the wires underground.

He suggested that Shelter Island, with its fragile aquifer, might want to look at the issue and make a decision about whether to seek underground wiring here.

On a separate issue, Mr. Card told the Town Board he’s looking into a law that could require the town to have sufficient financial resources to deal with any crisis that might affect the Recycling Center, such as a spill that requires remediation.

There’s  a need to spruce up the Legion Hall, Councilman Jim Colligan told his colleagues. The dining area is the first area in need of attention, he said. The bathrooms are in need of renovation and the back kitchen needs some work, he said.

While the bowling lanes are currently viable, they will need to be replaced  within a couple of years, he said.

Noting that there are a declining number of leagues, he said he would like to get students bowling to create a new generation interested in the sport.

Mr. Shepherd told his colleagues that the approach to culling the deer herd, especially targeting does who could be pregnant, is disturbing to his sleep. He called it an issue of ethics and morality and said he doesn’t want to kill the food supply in the event of a disaster where it might be needed. But he said he thinks that’s the direction the Deer & Tick Committee is going.

Mr. Colligan disagreed, saying there’s no effort to even reduce the herd to the eight to 10-deer level per square mile that some have said would be ideal. The goal right now is to reduce the herd to about 50 per square mile.

And he said the culling effort is being driven not by emotion but by data provided by Animal Control Officer Beau Payne.

Mr. Shepherd responded with a profanity.