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Board in talks to buy house next to Town Hall

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The entrance to the house directly next to Town Hall on North Ferry Road.
The entrance to the house next to Town Hall on North Ferry Road.

Shelter Island Town government is getting bigger. Literally.

The town is working out a contract to buy the house next door at 40 North Ferry Road, according to Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr.

The purchase price is in the $710,000 range, the town attorney said, for the 2,900- square-foot multi-family house on three quarters of an acre. The house consists of two units, one with two bedrooms and the other with three bedrooms and a total of 3.5 bathrooms.

At it’s regular meeting July 6, the Town Board passed a unanimous resolution to “authorize [the] Supervisor to execute contract for purchase,” which officially cleared the way to negotiate to buy the property.

Seth Madore of Corcoran is representing the seller. Reached Tuesday morning, Mr. Madore said he had no comment.

Mr. DeStefano said the deal “is still in the early stage at this point. We’re working out the contract.”

The reason to purchase the house next door is simple, he added, since “we need the space.” In addition, Town Hall personnel “might have to vacate for basic construction issues.”

The move will not be in the near future, he said, because “we don’t have the money now.”

Councilman Paul Shepherd said Tuesday the money has not been budgeted, because often “it’s difficult to budget because you don’t know things are coming until after the fact.”

He noted, however, that the purchase money will not be coming from town reserves.

“The mechanism of financing has not necessarily been defined as far as I know,” Mr. Shepherd said.

One thing he’s sure of is that more space is needed, since residents “are asking us to control more things. Enforcement is an issue. And if you need more bodies, you have to have a place for them. We’re packed in like sardines now.”

The house has been on the market before, Mr. Shepherd noted, and the town passed on making an offer.

The sense of the Town Board now is, he said, that “you don’t want to pass it up a second time.”