Featured Story
01/30/15 12:00pm
01/30/2015 12:00 PM
North Fork Smoked Fish Co. owner Phil Karlin addresses the Greenport Planning Board Thursday night. (credit: Paul Squire)

North Fork Smoked Fish Co. owner Phil Karlin addresses the Greenport Planning Board Thursday night. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The owner of Greenport’s North Fork Smoked Fish Co. announced Thursday night that his First Street fish shop would be opening its doors to customers for retail use, hoping to alleviate concerns by the Greenport zoning and planning boards over its operations.

The new plans introduced by owner Phil Karlin positioned the store as a joint retail venture between himself and a local fish market. But that only raised new questions from the Planning Board at its meeting Thursday night.

Now, village officials want a new detailed plan for the space by their next meeting, with Village Attorney Joseph Prokop warning that Mr. Karlin must read — and respect — the village code for retail use. (more…)

Featured Story
01/29/15 10:00am
Greenport Fire Chief Harry Breese (right) addresses the Village Board at Wednesday night's meeting. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Greenport Fire Chief Harry Breese (right) addresses the Village Board at Wednesday night’s meeting. (Credit: Paul Squire)

As a corner of the roof at the Greenport firehouse on Third Street began to leak Wednesday night, Fire Chief Harry Breese pitched three “ball park” ideas to the Greenport Village board on how to fix the building.

But for Mr. Breese and his fellow firefighters, one of the three seemed to make the most sense: tear down the old firehouse and build a new one in its place at the same location for roughly $7.1 million.

Wednesday night’s meeting was the result of an October discussion between the Fire Chief and the Village Board about how to repair the aging building, as well as months of work by the Melville-based engineering firm H2M.

Mr. Breese mentioned the leaking roof, inadequate space for firefighters and frequent termite infestations as problems that have plagued the current firehouse.

He described the other two options presented — a $1.9 million upgrade package or a $3.8 million addition — as being “band-aids” on the bigger problem of having a lasting firehouse.

“Eventually this place is going to be have to torn down,” he said. “We’re looking 20, 30 years down the road.”

The Fire Department came before the board to show all three proposals before exploring any further.

Since the Fire Department’s budget is included in the village’s annual budget, it would need Village Board approval. The Fire Department would have to cover the debt taken to finish the project by taking money out of its budget, village officials said.

Deputy Mayor and Village Trustee George Hubbard Jr, who led the meeting in Mayor David Nyce’s absence, said mistakes made decades ago have led to the current problems at the firehouse.

When the current firehouse was built, the remains of the old structure were thrown into the ground and buried instead of being properly disposed of, Mr. Hubbard said. That has made the termite problem difficult to solve, as the bugs crawl up from the remains.

Mr. Hubbard said that though the building is aging, the increase in village taxes needed to support the project would be staggering.

“We could easily double village taxes in one year,” he said. “That could be very difficult to sell to the public.”

The overall cost of the project, taking into account construction, engineering costs and debt payments, could reach about $13 million, according to Village Treasurer Robert Brandt Jr.

Mr. Brandt said the fire department was currently paying off $150,000 per year related to a previous purchase of two new pumper trucks. That debt service will expire in 2017, he said.

Mr. Hubbard suggested the firefighters look into grant funding to cover most of the cost.

Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips also suggested speaking to legislators, telling the fire department to “be creative.” Both she and Mr. Hubbard said the board would be willing to work with the firefighters once they come back with a concrete proposal to replace the firehouse.

“We need to know what you want to do … and then it has to be a cooperated effort between all of us,” Ms. Phillips said.

“Is the general consensus that you guys want a new building?” asked Village Trustee David Murray.

Board of Wardens member Joe Barszczewski said the consultant engineers’ reports show it would be more expensive to constantly make repairs to the current building than to simply start over.

“In the long run it’s more economical to go with a new building than to try to fix the ills that are here right now,” he said. “I don’t think it started out as let’s knock [it down] … It looks like it’s the better way to go.”

After the firefighters left, the board’s regular meeting continued. But the meeting was briefly delayed, after the constant patter of water hitting a plastic bag under one of the roof’s leaks became too distracting.

As Village Administrator Paul Pallas adjusted the jury-rigged solution to catch the melting snow, Mr. Hubbard smiled.

“Do [the firefighters] need a new building?” he joked. “I think they did that on purpose. It’s a setup.”

“They’re out there with the hose right now,” Mr. Murray quipped.

Correction: This headline previously incorrectly stated that the price tag for the new firehouse would be $7.8 million, not $7.1 million. We regret the error.

psquire@timesreview.com

Featured Story
01/29/15 8:00am
A blood drive is being held at North Shore Christian Church on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

A blood drive is being held at North Shore Christian Church on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

With blizzard conditions sweeping the region this week, the last thing on many people’s minds has been donating blood — and it’s created the largest loss of blood donations since Hurricane Sandy, according to New York Blood Center officials. (more…)

Featured Story
01/28/15 12:00pm
Ethan Sisson, a junior at Southold High School, demonstrates with other students from Project Bus Stop earlier this month. One proposed bus shelter would be built at the intersection where the students demonstrated. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Ethan Sisson, a junior at Southold High School, demonstrates with other students from Project Bus Stop earlier this month. One proposed bus shelter would be built at the intersection where the students demonstrated. (Credit: Paul Squire)

It’s taken three years, but a group of students from a local church who have been campaigning for more bus shelters to be installed along Main Road are finally seeing some big movement toward their goal.

This month, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski’s office submitted a request to build six new bus shelters in the county — including four in Southold Town.

He has said Suffolk County stands at the ready to fund such shelter requests. (more…)

Featured Story
01/28/15 10:00am
The North Ferry line stretching down Wiggins Street in Greenport in July 2013. (Ambrose Clancy photo, file)

The North Ferry line stretching down Wiggins Street in Greenport in July 2013. (Ambrose Clancy photo, file)

Almost a year has passed with no action to reroute North Ferry traffic in Greenport and a meeting Friday between the ferry company’s general manager and Railroad Museum officials appears to be unrelated to any change.

The GM, Bridg Hunt, called it “a classic case” of people drawing conclusions with incomplete information.

The meeting was set at the request of Railroad Museum officials who recently told Greenport Village that it no longer should be involved in a lease agreement of that property.

Village administrator Paul Pallas said the discussion is unrelated to a traffic rerouting plan and admitted since the idea dropped off the radar last summer, he hasn’t “given any thought” to any change in the traffic pattern. (more…)

01/24/15 4:00pm
01/24/2015 4:00 PM
(Credit: Claire Leaden) Allison Williams films a scene for HBO’s “Girls” outside Claudio’s in Greenport in June 2013.

Allison Williams films a scene for HBO’s “Girls” outside Claudio’s in Greenport in June 2013. (Credit: Claire Leaden)

With an increasing number of production companies eyeing Greenport as a scenic location for photography, TV and movies shoots, the Village Board wants to establish guidelines for filming in the village, which is not addressed anywhere in the current code.

A law that would require production companies to acquire permits before shooting, that has been under consideration by the code committee for some time, was presented to board members Tuesday night. (more…)

01/23/15 8:00am
01/23/2015 8:00 AM
Ms. Stulsky leaving court last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Ms. Stulsky leaving court last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

As the former Southold Town senior court clerk accused of stealing more than $230,000 in bail funds over the course of an unknown number of years gets ready to serve a six-month jail sentence, the town is preparing to pay back those who posted bail but never saw the money again.  (more…)