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Town Board signs off on North Ferry ramp work

North Ferry officials got an easy approval for a special permit at last week’s Town Board session to replace and raise its east shore side ramp and repave the approach.

Work is underway and expected to be completed before traffic picks up this spring, according to Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis. HPOC owns North Ferry. The project is in line with changes officials at North and South ferry companies have been engaged in to cope with rising sea levels.

“Recently, high and low tides have become more extreme, which could hamper North Ferry’s ability to operate in those conditions,” Ms. Lagudis said.

The ferry companies are part of the Island’s “Hazard Mitigation Strategy,” since they provide means for people, service providers and goods to be brought on and off the Island in all weather conditions, Ms. Lagudis said.

Last year at this time, similar work occurred on the Greenport north ramp, which was replaced with a new ramp 18 inches higher and two feet longer.

Chief gets new contract

Police Chief Jim Read has a contract extension as a result of an agreement the Town Board approved last week that continues his tenure to Dec. 31, 2026. Whether the new contract spells out salary changes, or stays in line with the current year’s budget and future budgets, is still unclear.

The 2023 budget lists a base salary of $192,039 plus a longevity payment of $34,808. Longevity payments are increases in salaries based on years of service.

Chief Read assumed the post in 1998. He joined the department in 1987 as a police officer and was promoted to sergeant in 1996. Under his leadership, the department was accredited by New York State in 2009.

CPF change

To abide by the requirements of the law that established the Community Preservation Fund, the Town Board and CPF Advisory Board will revisit its acquisition plan. It means adding some practices that were previously overlooked, and updating the criteria to assess potential acquisitions.

Each of the five East End towns participating in the CPF are required to revisit their acquisition plans every five years, but that was something that hasn’t happen here in several years, Supervisor Gerry Siller said.

Speaking about acquisitions made over the last few years, Mr. Siller and CPF Chairman Gordon Gooding expressed confidence all would have passed muster if they had been subjected to the new criteria. That includes assurances that water quality is considered a factor in purchasing land to preserve.

The one request Mr. Gooding voiced is that in the future, any changes required in assessing possible acquisitions be shared in a timely way with his advisory board. Mr. Siller agreed.