04/29/17 6:00am
04/29/2017 6:00 AM

Over the past year, Southold Town’s engineering department has had “unprecedented” access to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s shellfish lab, allowing for additional water quality testing that could show some previously closed water bodies will be suitable for shellfishing, according to town engineer Michael Collins.

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12/18/13 2:29pm
12/18/2013 2:29 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Dogs at the Southold Town Animal Shelter will soon have a new outdoor shading center with solar panels on its roof.

The Southold Town animal shelter will soon be powered by solar energy.

Wanting to take action before the end of the year in order to receive Long Island Power Authority rebates, the board accepted a bid Tuesday night for installation of photovoltaic panels at the shelter on Peconic Lane.

Oakdale-based SUNation was approved to place arrays on the roof of the shelter and construct a separate outdoor “shading space” for the animals that will also have solar panels on its roof.

The town received two offers on the proposed project after putting it out to bid in November, town engineer Michael Collins said during the board’s work session. The cheaper option, from Eldor Construction of Holtsville, would have cost the town roughly $266,000, Mr. Collins said. However, that company did not provide a design concept for the project, causing the town to pass.

“Without a concept plan, I have no way of knowing what their intention is,” Mr. Collins said.

The town ultimately accepted SUNation’s bid for $313,000. The company’s proposal includes a design plan and engineers from the firm visited the site before drafting their bid, Mr. Collins said. SUNation has been interested in the project since May and has since been working on developing a feasibility plan that would provide shading for the animals and help the town offset some of its electrical costs, Mr. Collins said.

“To chase $50,000 and risk losing LIPA rebates doesn’t make sense,” Supervisor Scott Russell said during the morning meeting. It was not clear how much of a rebate the town will receive.

The solar panels would be budgeted as a capital project in 2015 for construction in 2014, Mr. Russell said. Funding would come not just from the town but also from donations the animal shelter has already received, he said.

11/20/13 10:00am
11/20/2013 10:00 AM

FILE PHOTO | Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic.

Opting for a cheaper and less invasive method of clearing the opening of Goldsmith Inlet, Southold Town engineers Jamie Richter and Michael Collins are recommending the town skip its traditional dredging this year.

During the Town Board’s work session Tuesday morning, the engineers told members it would be it would be both cost effective and sufficient for maintaining the health of the Peconic inlet to dig out only a portion of the front opening of the channel known as the spit.

The spit extends from the southerly end of the jetty across to the mouth of the inlet, Mr. Collins said. As more sand is deposited on the spit, the channel shifts toward the east causing damage to the dunes, he said.

“Basically I just need to create a hole in the middle of [the spit] so that water will flow where we intended it to,” Mr. Collins said.

Removing the build-up of sand on the spit would cost roughly $4,000 to $6,000, far less than the full dredge of Goldsmith Inlet that typically happens every January, which runs about $50,000, Mr. Collins said.

The engineers believe there is no need to spend money on large-scale dredging this year because tidal flow – which regulates flushing and helps clean out pollution – has been stronger than in past years.

“It’s not great, but compared to other years there is more tidal flow,” Mr. Collins said. “Half of the tide is still flushing in and out. It’s not perfect,  but it is satisfactory.”

Moving forward, Mr. Collins said his department will continue to work with environmental engineering firm eDesign Dynamics LLC of New York City to develop a long-term plan for the dredging of Goldsmith Inlet.

Last year, the Town hired the firm to analyze perennially-clogged waterway and develop recommendations about how to correct the pollution of the inlet. On the forefront was a suggestion to build a second $1.5 million jetty, however the Town has not moved forward on any of the options eDesign Dynamics presented.

“We are still working with that report,” Mr. Collins said. “We will sit down and discuss the best way to go forward the next time we have full dredge event, if we even have one at all.”