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Town looks to increase fees, not taxes: Would link services to costs

In an effort to increase revenues without assessing taxes to all property owners, the Town Board has been reviewing various costs and adding license and permit fees to cover services.

The latest increase in fees being contemplated is a possible $250 fee to contractors who bring materials to the Recycling Center. The fee has been $100 per year. In addition, landscapers would also have to pay for a license to do business in the town. A $250 fee per year would be assessed to them as well under a proposal to be discussed at future meeting..

The town has been absorbing increased costs of handling various materials, Supervisor Gerry Siller told his Town Board colleagues at Tuesday’s work session. He said if the move is made after discussions with contractors, landscapers and Town Board members, those applying for licenses would have to produce proof of liability insurance and compliance with Workers Compensation requirements. Landscapers would also have to provide information on pesticides and fertilizers they use.

Landscapers with permits would also be assessed $10 to bring leaves, grass and other clippings to the Recycling Center. Anyone without a permit would be assessed $75 plus the extra $10 fee per day under the proposal.

“It seems like a large jump” for the contractors, Mr. Siller said, but, “It’s the cost of doing business.”

He estimated that the income would be about $67,500 per year with money going to hire a full-time code enforcement officer.

Councilman Jim Colligan agreed with the new terms. He said the fees to cart materials out of the Recycling Center and to man the area where contractors and landscapers bring their materials is “astronomical. It’s a big operation and it’s got to be self-sustaining,” Mr. Colligan said.


With plans by Chequit’s new owners to run a limited operation this summer, Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. said he thinks a partial site plan review might be in order. But he said he wants to ensure the Chequit is able to offer the limited services it plans this summer without what would otherwise be a lengthy site plan review.

He also said the Town Board needs to create an amendment to its application processes to accommodate those who receive necessary permits but have to apply for changes to approved plans. In one case the Town Board will be looking at, an applicant has hired a new architect and scaled back the plans for which a permit was already granted. There needs to be a means for handling a situation like that on future applications, Mr. DeStefano said.

It’s a test case

That’s how the Town Board is looking at an application to hold a small private dinner party at Wades Beach being catered on July 10. In the past,  events like that were banned during summer months, especially on weekends. Caterer Mackenzie Koster said the party would include about 15 guests and food preparers. It’s set for Saturday, July 10. Reluctantly,Town Board members could approve the application after Ms. Koster submits changes in the layout for the event and a change in timing that would move the setup to after 6 p.m.

Because it’s a small event, the Town Board appears to be poised to approve it, but to use it as a test case to see whether it should adopt a policy that would enable Islanders to hold similar events on town beaches in summer months.