As work gets underway with building more boat racks, the Town Board Friday unanimously passed a law regulating boat storage on town property.
The motivation for the new law was a combination of circumstances, including safety, overcrowding of boats at some sites and an effort to increase revenues, Supervisor Gerry Siller said.
During a public hearing on the law, he responded to questions from Peter Beardsley, a member of the Menantic Yacht Club, who expressed concerns about access, costs and reasons for the new law that he feared might interfere with the club’s regular races. Mr. Beardsley also said he didn’t want to see a limit put on how many boats a household might be able to store on the beach.
Mr. Siller explained that the law wouldn’t interfere with the club’s access and said there’s nothing that limits the number of boats a household could store. As for cost, while it’s not stated in the law in order to give the town flexibility in changing rates, the initial rates would be $50 a season for a small boat such as a kayak; $75 for a Sunfish or similarly sized boat; and $150 for a larger boat, such as a catamaran.
Circumstances trending over time had demonstrated a need for some regulations, Councilman Jim Colligan said. Too many boaters were crowding some sites such as Wades Beach. Boats were being strewn about and often many weren’t labeled and some left in wetlands areas where they destroyed beach grasses, he said. What’s more, if a boat drifted from where it was left and had no identification, police were forced to search on the chance that a boater had been injured or drowned.
Labeling will enable police to reach out to owners to determine if the boat simply drifted or someone might have been hurt.
The law provides that no boat can be stored on the beach that is longer than 18 feet or wider than 8 feet. Vessels must be properly labeled and firmly secured and the racks being provided so owners can secure boats with locks. The law also gives the town the right to regulate the number of boats that can be stored at any site.
Boat trailers can’t be parked on public sites for more than 24 hours, and any boat left between Dec. 1 and March 31 can be impounded without prior notice. Unclaimed boats can be sold at public auction to cover removal and storage costs.
A second law unanimously passed deals with abandoned vehicles, enabling removal from roadways during snow or other weather related emergencies. The law simply codifies what has already been a policy for the town, Mr. Siller said.
A change in hours and workload in the assessor’s office has resulted in a change in salary with Craig Wood, who had functioned as lead assessor, giving up $18,000 of his salary so the other two assessors — Pat Castoldi and Judith Lechmanski — can each earn $9,000 more.
EXECUTIVE ORDER COMPLIANCE
Complying with the Executive Order issued by President Joseph Biden relating to the requirements for mask wearing among staff and riders of public transportation, including ferries, the Town Board issued a statement noting that both North and South ferries had already implemented policies requiring all crew members to wear facial coverings on deck; all foot passengers to wear facial coverings throughout crossings; and all vehicle occupants to remain in their vehicles and don masks when interacting with anyone outside their vehicles or if they have to exit a vehicle for any reason.
After a thorough review by the Town Board and representatives of the Police Benevolent Association and the Highway Benevolent Association, the Town Board has adopted a revised Employee Handbook to be distributed to all town officials and employees.
During the course of discussions about the handbook, a system of employee evaluations was instituted with an eye not to discipline employees, but to have managers assist in identifying goals and talking about areas where they can assist in helping to strengthen skills of those they supervise. There will be a period of training for managers.
Brett Poleshuk was appointed part-time building inspector as of Jan. 11 at a rate of $25 per hour for up to 15 hours a week.
Former Justice Court Judge Helen Rosenblum has been named to fill a vacancy on the EMS Advisory Board.
Other appointments include:
• Kathleen Gerard to continue as a member of the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) Advisory Board and Cathy Kenny and Tim Purtell to fill vacancies on the CPF Advisory Board
• Albert Brayson to the Water Quality Improvement Advisory Board
• Linda Zavatto and Kevin Sanwald to the Taylor’s Island Preservation and Management Committee
• Michael Gulluscio to the Ferry Study Group
In other actions, the Town Board:
• Authorized $65,000 in funds received from the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation to the Ambulance Equipment Capital Reserve Fund.
• Approved a petition for the Shelter Island Yacht Club to carry out a maintenance dredge within the marina, with 125 cubic yards of material to be placed at an approved upland location.