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Feb. 1 is new target for Med Center opening; grant to fix beach bathrooms

The Medical Center operated by Stony Brook University Hospital staff was to have been up and running as of Jan. 1, but it now appears it will be Feb. 1 at the earliest. The delay is to allow work on renovations.

At issue is not only what is to be done, but who is to pay for renovations.

When Gary Gerth left the supervisor’s chair as of Jan. 1, he said Shelter Island’s contract with Stony Brook made the town the landlord of the Center, but left renovations to the tenant. It now appears that may not be the case.

New flooring has been priced for the office to replace carpeting, but Public Works Commissioner Brian Sherman said he’s awaiting another two companies to provide prices. There’s also the issue of who will pay the bill when the flooring is ready to be purchased, he said. 

Installation, once that’s decided, should be rapid, he told the Capital Projects/Grants Committee Monday. Removal of a large nurses’ station is also something the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital representatives said they wanted during a December visit. Mr. Sherman said he’s awaiting word from the Stony Brook group on what they want to do about the existing station and what will replace it. The group examining the space also indicated cabinets in the examining rooms were in need of replacement.

The back office, to be operated by Dr. Peter Kelt, is expected to be open in February, but currently, there is no doctor on staff, since Dr. Nathanael Desire closed his office earlier this month, announcing he was being forced out by the town.

It had been assumed Dr. Desire would be part of the Stony Brook staffing, but he said he wanted to work independently through his own NAD Medical Services PLLC.

It still remains unclear whether he will be able to identify off-Island space where he could see his Shelter Island patients. In the interim, he’s sending medical records to other doctors identified by patients as their new primary care physicians.

Presbyterian Church water solution

With Health Department approval of a plan to correct the high nitrate levels in water at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, the work is underway, according to Town Engineer John Cronin. 

There are four parts to the corrected water system and two had to be specially ordered. He predicted another seven weeks at the earliest before those would be on hand for installation.

ADA compliance

Monday morning the Capital Planning/Grants Committee debated the best approach to dealing with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Cronin explained that his colleagues should understand the dictates of the federal law and its requirements.

The American Legion Hall/Youth Center is accessible for those in wheelchairs. But Justice Court and Police Department headquarters are not accessible and just putting in a ramp or adjusting a holding bar in a bathroom won’t suffice, Mr. Cronin said. 

There was no resolution at Monday’s meeting, but at the moment, there’s no money allocated to make the court and police department compliant.

Community Development Block Grant

The usual approach to these state grants for Shelter Island has been to hold a public hearing seeking suggestions for projects residents want funded. Generally, no one has attended and the board has slotted the money for some small project each year.

But now the thinking is to develop a larger project idea that might qualify for as much as a $75,000 grant and submit details for consideration.