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Donation to Shelter Island Fire Department contingent on land purchase

Resident Mike Gaynor announced at the May 29 Town Board work session he was donating $250,000 to the Shelter Island Fire Department “to promote their ongoing protection of the public safety of Shelter Island Citizens.”

The contribution is contingent on the Town Board voting to acquire development rights on two acres of property Mr. Gaynor owns.

In a letter to the Town Board last week, he said he was offering to sell development rights to preserve “the unique and historic panorama presented by the land for the benefit of the citizens of Shelter Island for generations to come.”

He asked for $1.5 million from Community Preservation Fund (CPF) money, saying, if the Town purchased the rights, at the closing he would “donate” $250,000 to the Fire Department.

A previous recommendation by the CPF Advisory Board to the Town Board, signed by CPF Chairman Gordon Gooding, maintained the purchase doesn’t meet criteria since  the property is too small for significant agricultural production, or has exceptional scenic views, which are two stipulations to use CPF funds.

The land use would be limited to Mr. Gaynor, Mr. Gooding said.