Police kennel no longer empty

Supervisor Scott Russell, center, explains his ideas for the Mattituck business corridor study to Councilmen Bill Ruland (left) and Chris Talbot during the Town Board’s Tuesday-morning work session.

The town police force is no longer without a canine squad.

Thanks to a $6,500 donation from Hudson City Savings Bank, the town acquired a young German shepherd that was raised in the Czech Republic and arrived in the U.S. at the end of January. The dog, named Hudzin, is undergoing training with town canine officer Frank Mele and is expected to begin serving in July.

Hudzin, now 13 months old, follows Ajax, the town’s first police dog, who died unexpectedly last year.

Hudzin has already learned basic commands in German, and Officer Mele said he’ll avoid confusion by continuing to use them. For example, “setz” means sit and “zuch” (pronounced “zook”) is the order to track a subject. “Platz” tells the dog to get down.

High and Dry

Brush’s Creek, which leads to the bay in Laurel, was to be dredged by the county in January, but heavy ice prevented that. Rescheduling isn’t so simple, because concerns for wildlife limit the work to winter months. But so much sand has piled up by the creek entrance that the creek is little more than a stream a few feet wide.

With boating season fast approaching, Town Trustee Dave Bergen asked the Town Board to join in a request to the state DEC and the Army Corps of Engineers for a special exception to allow emergency dredging in May. Brush’s Creek would be one of three dredging jobs the county could tackle during a special two-week window. Brush’s Creek is usually dredged every year.

The work should take no more than four or five days, providing no evidence of piping plover nesting is found, Mr. Bergen said. Those birds have not been spotted there in the past, he added.

$ for rain barrels

As part of its ongoing effort to improve water quality in Hashamomuck Pond in Southold, the Peconic Estuary Program is looking to launch a pilot grant program to help fund home improvements that will reduce the amount of potentially contaminated runoff reaching the water. Estuary program coordinator Laura Stephenson said $100,000 is available for projects such as installing drywells, planting “rain gardens” to collect runoff, or even a purchasing something as simple as a rain barrel. There are 354 houses ringing the pond, rich in shellfish but mostly off-limits to harvests due to water contamination. The money could be carved up in $1,000 increments, Ms. Stephenson said.

Supervisor Scott Russell said such a grant program for waterfront homeowners “sends an awful message” when the community faces serious economic issues. Other board members suggested that any effort to increase the pond’s water quality is a good thing.

Ms. Stephenson said the $100,000, which is federal money, cannot be used for any other purpose.

Harris under water

When he appeared before the Town Board Tuesday seeking funds to buy more pumps, Highway Superintendent Pete Harris noted the difficulty his department has had of late dealing with townwide flooding.

“I’ve been called every name there is, three times over,” he said. “We’ve been doing the best we can. I didn’t make it rain.”

Although he said his department has been quite creative in moving the water, Mr. Harris noted that there’s only so much they can do when 13 inches of rain falls in less than a week. The flooding comes from both above and below, through rainfall and a high water table. The town police station was flooded with water coming up through drainpipes.

“People keep asking, when are you going to do me?” Mr. Harris said. “Where am I going to put it?”

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