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State grant to benefit Island drinking water

Melanie Cirillo of the Peconic Land Trust, with Councilman Albert Dickson, told Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board members Monday the PLT will be administering money to be spent for land acquisitions that protect drinking water.

A grant from New York State will benefit Shelter Island, Southold and Riverhead in their battle to address water quality issues.

The Peconic Land Trust (PLT) along with the Peconic Estuary Program, is beginning to work with Shelter Island’s Town Board and the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board, according to PLT’s Director of Conservation Planning Melanie Cirillo.

The plan is to take a $3 million state award to cover 75 percent of the costs to acquire properties that will benefit local drinking water.

The PLT will continue working with the Peconic Estuary Programs, the towns, Suffolk County and experts in the field to identify appropriate parcels to be prioritized, Ms. Cirillo told the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board Monday morning.  She said PLT is close to announcing its first acquisition.

In other business, the Community Preservation Fund discussed:
• Signage at various CPF-acquired sites. One site, the Mildred Flower Hird Preserve, has been problematic because Dering Harbor leaders haven’t been in favor of the signs, Chairman Gordon Gooding said.
• Voted to have two benches being created by Shelter Island students placed at the recently acquired Scudder property.
• Agreed to work on updating a plan for future acquisitions using CPF money.