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Town Board, WQI to focus on water quality grant requirements

The Water Quality Improvement Projects Advisory Board (WQI) and Town Board members will be further discussing and investigating regulations for providing grants to applicants seeking help paying for new nitrogen reducing Innovative Alternative (I/A) systems.

At issue is conforming to Suffolk County standards for grants offered by the state and county. The town can adopt more rigid standards for its grants, but can’t lessen the county standards, just as the county can’t lessen state standards.

The discussion at the Jan. 22 work session centered on what should trigger a requirement for a nitrogen-reducing system. Should it be for all new construction? Construction of more than 50% of an existing building? Should it deal with buildings of more than 1,500 square feet?

One aspect Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. noted was eliminating the code referring to percentages. That’s a number that can vary according to how a builder or applicant might interpret information.

But the Town Board agreed there needs to be further discussion before settling on any revisions to its policy.

Wanted: Planning Board member

During the December holidays, town officials advertised for a new member of the Planning Board, but received no applications. The position will be advertised again with the hope that appropriate candidates will apply. Planning Board members earn $5,000 annually.

Mr. Siller announced that Town Engineer John Cronin will participate in the Coastal Resiliency & Sea Level Task Force organized by Assemblyman Al Krupski Jr. (D-Cutchogue). Mr. Cronin will consult with the board after the initial meeting as to whether it’s appropriate for him to represent Shelter Island or tap someone else to continue.

Mr. Siller and Ms. Brach-Williams will attend an Environmental Roundtable organized by State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) and Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk). The session is set for Friday, Feb. 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center.