Featured Story
05/14/15 12:00pm
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | A stream leading from Gardiners Bay to a salt marsh in Hay Beach. One letter writer believes money dedicated to the Community Preservation Fund should be used to aid marshes in danger.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | A stream leading from Gardiners Bay to a salt marsh in Hay Beach. One letter writer believes money dedicated to the Community Preservation Fund should be used to aid marshes in danger.

CPF should pay
To the Editor:
In response to your lead article of last week, “Ecosystems In Peril,” I would suggest at least a partial solution where the problem involves open space.

I believe that the Community Preservation Fund —  2 percent fund — was designed not only to acquire open space, but also to preserve and maintain it. (more…)

Featured Story
05/08/15 2:00pm
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Dickerson Creek, where it begins to flow into an endangered salt marsh.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Dickerson Creek, where it begins to flow into an endangered salt marsh.

Under a reef of cloud sailing slowly east, Dickerson Creek sparkles with May sunlight. The saltwater estuary streams out of the depths toward land, pooling in borders of peat, reeking pleasantly of salt and earth.

From the pools the current slowly continues over flooded mudflats. An egret, pure white, standing on stick legs in blue water, jerks forward, freezes — posing. Look closely and below the surface tiny creatures spring and dart from narrow burrows in the black mud. (more…)

11/19/13 11:11am

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Community Land Preservation Fund Advisory Board Chairman Peter Vielbig, left, with board member Charles Krause at Monday’s meeting.

The town Community Fund Land Preservation Advisory Board (CFLAB) met Monday with acquisitions and maintenance on its mind.

The board is feeling flush these days, taking in $123,700 in October, the fifth month in a row the fund has collected double digit figures. Projected income to the fund for November and December is set at about $130,000.

The cash position of the board is at about $1.7 million

The board targets open space properties for preservation and the town purchases them from the Community Preservation Fund. Also known as the “2-percent fund,” the CPF is financed by a 2-percent tax buyers pay on real estate deals, with the first $250,000 of the sale price exempted from the tax. That tax collected then goes into the town’s CPF fund and is solely dedicated to open space acquisitions and maintaining them.

Monday CFLAB Chairman Peter Vielbig asked board members to make a priority list of properties to target and, once a consensus is reached, a short list will be posted on the town’s website.

As for maintenance, the board tuned to complaints by William Dickerson, aired in a feature article in the Reporter last August and a recent letter to the editor by Mr. Dickerson (“Bad neighbors,” November 7).

Mr. Dickerson’s property borders on a 2-percent property known as Lawnsdale on Dickerson Creek located on the northern border of Graces Lane. The small lot, just 1.2 acres, is shaped like a boot. The property’s border extends 113 feet north of the intersection between Grace’s and Ian’s lanes and then turns east to the creek.

Mr. Dickerson said the property is overgrown and infested with ticks. He claims that when the property was purchased he was promised it would be cleared out. Supervisor Jim Dougherty denies any promise was made. Mr. Dickerson also said tree growth on the property could damage his pool and the walkway surrounding it.

CFLAB member Charles Krause said he had recently spoken with Mr. Dickerson’s son Steven and he’s “embarrassed by what his father is doing.”
Supervisor Dougherty agreed, mentioning he had been in touch with Steven Dickerson recently as well. “We all get old,” Mr. Dougherty said.

Emails between town officials show that Highway Superintendent Jay Card visited the property in August and found no danger to Mr. Dickerson’s property.

According to the record of the 2007 acquisition for Lawnsdale, “The balance of the property will be left in its current state, to act as open space, habitat for animals and for storm water recharge. It is currently overgrown with invasive, non-native vegetation, and this plan may be amended at some future time to deal with removal of those plants, grading and other materials which may have been dumped on the property.”

Mr. Vielbig said brush will be cleared at a spot near Dickerson’s Creek for picnickers and bird watchers, but the rest of the property would remain untouched.
Resident Howard Johansen said maintenance on all properties has to be reconsidered. He noted that recently he had to chop his way into the Turkem’s Rest property off South Midway Road. Last spring a path was cleared but now it’s completely overgrown.

After the meeting, Mr. Johansen said that “overall, properties haven’t been maintained.” He added it wasn’t because of policy, but “it’s just a matter of getting around to doing it.”

At a recent Town Board meeting, Supervisor Dougherty had criticized the board for focusing too much on maintenance and not being aggressive enough on targeting properties.

11/19/13 11:11am

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Community Land Preservation Fund Advisory Board Chairman Peter Vielbig, left, with board member Charles Krause at Monday’s meeting.

The town Community Fund Land Preservation Advisory Board (CFLAB) met Monday with acquisitions and maintenance on its mind.

The board is feeling flush these days, taking in $123,700 in October, the fifth month in a row the fund has collected double digit figures. Projected income to the fund for November and December is set at about $130,000.

The cash position of the board is at about $1.7 million

The board targets open space properties for preservation and the town purchases them from the Community Preservation Fund. Also known as the “2-percent fund,” the CPF is financed by a 2-percent tax buyers pay on real estate deals, with the first $250,000 of the sale price exempted from the tax. That tax collected then goes into the town’s CPF fund and is solely dedicated to open space acquisitions and maintaining them.

Monday CFLAB Chairman Peter Vielbig asked board members to make a priority list of properties to target and, once a consensus is reached, a short list will be posted on the town’s website.

As for maintenance, the board tuned to complaints by William Dickerson, aired in a feature article in the Reporter last August and a recent letter to the editor by Mr. Dickerson (“Bad neighbors,” November 7).

Mr. Dickerson’s property borders on a 2-percent property known as Lawnsdale on Dickerson Creek located on the northern border of Graces Lane. The small lot, just 1.2 acres, is shaped like a boot. The property’s border extends 113 feet north of the intersection between Grace’s and Ian’s lanes and then turns east to the creek.

Mr. Dickerson said the property is overgrown and infested with ticks. He claims that when the property was purchased he was promised it would be cleared out. Supervisor Jim Dougherty denies any promise was made. Mr. Dickerson also said tree growth on the property could damage his pool and the walkway surrounding it.

CFLAB member Charles Krause said he had recently spoken with Mr. Dickerson’s son Steven and he’s “embarrassed by what his father is doing.”
Supervisor Dougherty agreed, mentioning he had been in touch with Steven Dickerson recently as well. “We all get old,” Mr. Dougherty said.

Emails between town officials show that Highway Superintendent Jay Card visited the property in August and found no danger to Mr. Dickerson’s property.

According to the record of the 2007 acquisition for Lawnsdale, “The balance of the property will be left in its current state, to act as open space, habitat for animals and for storm water recharge. It is currently overgrown with invasive, non-native vegetation, and this plan may be amended at some future time to deal with removal of those plants, grading and other materials which may have been dumped on the property.”

Mr. Vielbig said brush will be cleared at a spot near Dickerson’s Creek for picnickers and bird watchers, but the rest of the property would remain untouched.
Resident Howard Johansen said maintenance on all properties has to be reconsidered. He noted that recently he had to chop his way into the Turkem’s Rest property off South Midway Road. Last spring a path was cleared but now it’s completely overgrown.

After the meeting, Mr. Johansen said that “overall, properties haven’t been maintained.” He added it wasn’t because of policy, but “it’s just a matter of getting around to doing it.”

At a recent Town Board meeting, Supervisor Dougherty had criticized the board for focusing too much on maintenance and not being aggressive enough on targeting properties.

11/14/13 2:00pm

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

To the Editor:
It is ironic that there should be an editorial regarding the 2-percent tax and a letter from an irate taxpayer, Mr. Dickerson, regarding one of the properties acquired through the tax (“Welcome news” and “Bad neighbors,” November 7).

This property in the Tarkettle Acres subdivision is a perfect example of the lack of common sense regarding this tax and the stewardship that needs to go along with this program. This property is most valuable for the Town of Shelter Island; not only is it waterfront, but it is bulkheaded and a perfect docking spot for the town police boat for the south side of the Island. It also has a park-like feel with the views over Dickerson Creek and eastward, thus making it a perfect destination for kayakers and the like. There have been several sales of real property in this area since the 2-percent tax was implemented, with a lot of money directed to the 2-percent tax.

There is absolutely no reason why money from sales in any subdivision cannot be tapped into for the maintenance of the conservation areas already allocated in those areas that have been maintained by the property owners associations. The biggest cost of most of these parcels is the insurance, along with general maintenance, mowing and general cleanup. A little help from the town is needed.

I would like to see a report from the town regarding where we stand with the money collected and the money spent and what money is going to be allocated for future purchases.

I think the town needs to stop and take a breath and review what is happening and clean up some of these areas. It will probably take an army of men and women to try to amend this tax law to allow money to go to property owners associations where the initial property is being purchased.

Perhaps another committee needs to be formed to just inspect all of the properties now held for land preservation and see how they are faring. Seems to me from what I personally have seen, most of them are maintained in the original state, some are not, with fallen trees and invasive vines. If the town is going to buy these properties, then they certainly need to maintain them, especially if there is a threat to a neighboring property. The property in Tarkettle is a perfect example of a very negligent situation within the town.
GEORGIANA KETCHAM
Shelter Island