Featured Letter: Don’t preserve Plum Island

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | The main animal disease research lab on Plum Island.
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | The main animal disease research lab on Plum Island.

To the Editor:

Regarding the Plum Island property, I totally disagree with the plan to preserve it.

Its preservation would have a negative effect on two of the most important challenges facing Southold Town: high property taxes and a lack of well-paying jobs.

First, we should realize that Southold Town already has over 4,000 acres of preserved open space, of which about 3,000 acres are open to public use and off the tax rolls and thus require taxpayers’ money to maintain. Therefore, if the federal government did give up Plum Island, I question the practicality of giving up perhaps several million dollars per year of property tax revenue to preserve an 840-acre island that I suspect very few of us will ever get to see or enjoy, but which we will have to pay to maintain.

Likewise, if developed either residentially or commercially, there would be a need for a large number of well-paying jobs, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architects and engineers, to name a few.

Plum Island could well be a jewel in the economic vitality of Southold Town. Let’s not waste it, but invest in it for the future.

Douglas Cooper, Mattituck

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