In what’s becoming an increasingly frequent refrain, it was another tough go-around for utilities chief Jack Naylor at Monday night’s Greenport Village Board work session.
Why, Trustee Mary Bess Phillips wondered, was it necessary to file new paperwork to restart a grant that wasn’t used in time? She had previously voiced concerns about securing and appropriating money within the original terms of grants, she said, but deadline dates were missed.
Mayor David Nyce wanted to know why letters haven’t yet gone out to those residents whose properties might need work based on recent smoke tests of the sewer system.
Time, Mr. Naylor said in reply, insisting that he and his workers are extremely busy and can’t always complete assignments as quickly as the board would like.
“Let’s wrap it up,” the mayor told his utilities chief.
Ms. Phillips also wanted to know why, at a time when there’s so much work to be done at the electric and sewer plants, utilities department employees are seeking to take course work. She balked at allowing employees to sign up for courses now, insisting they could be taken at a later, more convenient time.
On that issue, however, she was outvoted by the rest of the board.
Trustee George Hubbard asked why new fuel tanks haven’t been installed and why all employees aren’t being taught to use meters meant to show the amount of fuel they are using. For too long, Mr. Hubbard said, there’s been no clear record of who is fueling which vehicles.
The issue with the fuel tanks has been going on “since I got elected and that’s three years ago,” Ms. Phillips said.
Mr. Nyce ordered Mr. Naylor to see to it that all employees receive instruction on using the meters properly.
Village administrator David Abatelli is suggesting a hike in residential mooring fees, telling the board it’s been a long time since the rates were raised. Mitchell Park Marina manager Jeff Goubeaud joined the call, saying he’s eager to get contracts out to those who rent the moorings.
But Mr. Nyce objected, saying he doesn’t want to increase fees without first allowing the public to comment. He asked Mr. Abatelli to return with a specific proposal, which he would submit for public discussion prior to board action.
Groups planning fundraisers at Mitchell Park in July may have to look elsewhere for a venue. San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation used the park this past summer, Ms. Phillips said, but tends to move to a new venue each year.
After last year’s event, discussion took place about what uses are legitimate for the park — which was paid for with federal, state and local money — and the Village Board has since been hesitant about approving its use for fundraising events.
The board turned down a request last year from Sts. Anargyroi & Taxiarhis Greek Orthodox Church to hold its annual festival in the park. A renewed application, limiting the event to Greek music and dancing, is expected to be filed this year, Mr. Nyce said.
Allowing nonprofit organizations to schedule fundraisers at the park opens the door to having to allow similar organizations to use the grounds, Trustee David Murray said. That could result in the public park being booked virtually every weekend, he said.