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Shelter Island receives $30K grant for wastewater treatment study

The town has received two $30,000 grants from Suffolk County to use toward the cost of feasibility studies — one for a proposed municipal wastewater project to serve several buildings in the Center and one to determine steps to improving water quality in Fresh Pond.

Grants from New York State and Suffolk County were forthcoming for an earlier plan to deal with a municipal wastewater project that would have been limited to the American Legion Post/Youth Center and one of three septic systems serving Shelter Island School.

But that idea collapsed after a well water issue arose at the Legion site, forcing installation of a new well and a redesign of a larger wastewater proposal to serve a number of Center buildings.

Still pending is a $100,000 grant request from the state that could augment the $30,000 grant already in hand for the municipal wastewater treatment project study. But if that money is forthcoming, it would also provide some funding for a feasibility study that could provide treated water from the Heights Property Owners Corporation septic treatment system to the golf course at Goat Hill for irrigation.

Shelter Island couldn’t make use of the original grants for its initial Center wastewater project and town officials are concerned that could be a stumbling block to a new grant. The new proposal was designed to replace all three septic systems at the school, the Legion Hall, Town Hall complex, Shelter Island Library and the Fire Department. The school has since opted to pursue its own project, planning to replace one aged septic system as required by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Fresh Pond

Much of the money and effort to improve water quality in Fresh Pond has come from neighborhood association members. But now the town has $30,000 to help fund a feasibility study to determine what can be done at the site. While the Capital Planning/Grants Committee wants to see a project manager lead the effort, they agreed with Supervisor Gerry Siller that the Fresh Pond Neighborhood Association should make a presentation to the Town Board at a work session about what has been done to date and what the association’s plans are.

At the same time, all agreed at Monday’s meeting that the project manager should be an elected official, possibly newly elected Councilman Mike Bebon, who has a background as an engineer.