Supervisor-elect Gerry Siller isn’t saying much about how his priorities differ with the outgoing Gary Gerth administration’s. But information revealed at last week’s Capital Planning/Grants Committee indicate there’s a shake-up being contemplated for 2020.
Not surprisingly, water quality tops Mr. Siller’s priority list, the same as Mr. Gerth’s, according to Town Engineer John Cronin. Mr. Cronin told the committee he’d met with Mr. Siller and received the following list in order of importance:
• Rectifying the high nitrate levels in water in the Center.
• Having a dialogue with the Suffolk County Water Authority.
• Directing more Community Preservation Fund water quality money to projects serving the wider community, rather than concentrating on grants for individual homeowners to upgrade their septic systems.
• Affordable housing development.
• Deer & Tick issues.
• Upgrades to town buildings to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
• A stepped-up involvement of the Green Options Committee with town projects.
Although Mr. Siller had initially agreed to meet with the Reporter to discuss the work and research he’s been doing since early November, he decided last week not to meet.
Based on Mr. Cronin’s understanding of the supervisor-elect’s plans, he advised his colleagues on the committee to focus on projects that will improve health and safety.
In that vein, town officials, on the advice of grants consultant Jennifer Higham Messiano, are looking at linking two projects for grant funding — a proposal to deal with nitrogen content in the water in several Center buildings, and a project that could use treated water from the Heights Property Owners Corporation septic system to water the golf course at the Shelter Island Country Club.
With respect to town-owned buildings not currently compliant with the ADA, concentration is on the American Legion Hall, which also houses the town Youth Center.
But Justice Court and Police Department headquarters are not ADA compliant. It’s anticipated a plan will be developed for those facilities in 2020.