Greenport utilities director Jack Naylor, who has been criticized by Village Board members on several recent occasions, took another beating Monday night.
Mayor David Nyce said he’s “dismayed” by having to carry over funding from the last fiscal year into the next year for work on sewer system upgrades.
The work, which should have been completed last year, has to be undertaken now, he told Mr. Naylor.
Trustee Mary Bess Phillips, who has been a major critic of the utilities director, said she wants a report from Mr. Naylor at the July work session, outlining a plan of action and a budget for the upgrade.
After the meeting, Mr. Naylor blamed delays on a lack of time. The projects require engineering specifications to be drafted, he said.
With the board’s hiring of Derryl Lee Baumer as a $33,200 assistant to handle paperwork and some drafting of specs, Mr. Naylor said he believes he will be able to tackle the work this year.
SMOKING BAN PASSES
The board voted 4-1 Monday night to prohibit smoking in certain areas, including playgrounds, the Mitchell Park carousel and other places where children typically gather.
The aim of the resolution, sponsored by Trustee Chris Kempner, is to protect children from secondhand smoke. By state law, it is already illegal to smoke around government buildings, such as Village Hall.
Mr. Nyce voted against the resolution, saying, “I’m not in favor of these sorts of amendments to code.”
Upset over difficulties with the village’s computer server, which has broken down several times, Ms. Phillips said there have been problems with email and other programs, including the village’s new financial software program. But the problem isn’t the software, it’s in the outdated computers, she said.
She challenged her fellow board members to decide whether they’re going to move into the 21st century or backward to the 18th century.
CRITICS DON’T STOP SAIL
Despite critics who asked Village Board members not to allocate $18,000 to the American Sail Training Association to participate in the 2012 Tall Ships Challenge, the vote was unanimous to support the expenditure.
If the village is successful in attracting ships for Operation Sail 2012, residents and tourists can expect to see four to six tall ships in port for several days with various activities developed in conjunction with the visits.
The vote came after Mr. Nyce explained that past experience showed taxpayers can expect to see a small return on the investment. It’s not guaranteed, he said, but it is likely. Through contributions from businesses and potential grants from the state and the Long Island Convention Bureau, the mayor said he expects to raise enough to cover the anticipated $20,000 to $30,000 appearance fees to bring tall ships to port next summer.
He also said he’ll seek volunteers to join a steering committee to guide the fundraising effort and create of an event committee to plan the village’s participation.
The board voted unanimously to allow downtown Greenport businesses to apply for overhanging signs. Several existing signs are legal because they are on the property of the businesses, Mr. Nyce said. Tose that overhang village property would need permits for the village to ensure they’re safely mounted and that insurance is in place in case of an accident.
WETLANDS PERMIT OK
The board granted a wetlands permit to Paul Henry of Osprey Zone Inc. for the repair and replacement of structures at Sterling Street and Stirling Basin in Stirling Harbor, including repair of existing floating docks, reconfiguration of pilings and replacement of wooden walkways and an existing wooden ramp.
With the board’s appointment of Lucy Clark, the Historic Preservation Commission now has a full complement of five members. When David Murray was elected to the Village Board in March, he stepped down as commission chairman, that position going to Frank Uellendahl. But it still left a vacancy on the commission. Ms. Clark’s appointment will expire in April 2016.
The Village Board scheduled public hearings on July 25 on a proposed sewer rate hike and on Eastern Long Island Hospital’s application for a wetlands permit to expand its ambulatory surgery unit.