SOUTHOLD VOICE GENERAL MEETING
The 2016 Southold Voice General Meeting was held on July 23 at the Peconic Recreation Center; the meeting was attended by over 100 enthusiastic supporters.
Marie Beninati, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 9AM sharp. Marie:
- Thanked the membership for their support
- Reviewed the Mission of the organization
- Introduced the SV Board Members to the attending members
- Listed the Key accomplishments of the last twelve months including several member Information Sessions, Winter Debris Clean up with the town, publishing Q&As for town Elections and the Plum Island Trip
- Stressed that we are a volunteer organization and we need volunteers to help
- She then listed the two Key issues for the meeting (1) Clean Water with Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski as speaker and (2) Helicopter Noise with Congressman Lee Zeldin as guest speaker
Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski began his talk on water quality by thanking SV for its contributions to the county’s efforts. Key points made be Al Krupski were:
- Waste water goes into the ground water and eventually ends up in the creeks and bay
- There are a total of 195 systems being tested in Suffolk County that will treat waste water for Nitrogen including 6 new systems from 4 companies at 19 locations in Suffolk County; 8 new ones will be tested this year. All of this is being handled under Article 19. He does not want article 19 to be a conduit for High Density housing. Southold does not want high density housing; however, at least two other communities want high density housing.
- For Suffolk County 68% of Nitrogen is from Septic System; 10% from fertilizer; 22% natural including geese.
- Wetland/Vegetive Systems are also being put in that will absorb nitrogen and other pollutants from the water.
- 6 New systems are scheduled to be approved by the Health Department by year end
- Nine of these systems treat pollutants other than Nitrogen.
- The county needs and is looking for input on the topic and Southold has been very active in providing input.
Legislator Krupski’s speech was followed by extensive Q&As that lasted for over 40 minutesi ncluding:
: The cost of the new systems and who will pay. Ongoing annual maintenance costs are $300-$400 /year. Tax credits are one possibility.
: Who decides when a septic system needs to be replaced; should they be updated when there is a transfer of ownership.
: Geese who no longer migrate but reside here all year – should the hunting season and bag limit be extended
: What to do with new contaminates such as fire retardant chemicals
: Should there be a water use surcharge
: What are the best ways to maintain cesspools? Bacterial enhancements, 5 year clean outs, etc.
: Tax residential fertilizer use to reduce the amount of fertilizer used
: Use of “Hamlet development Districts” to cluster development to minimize environmental impact.
Congressman Lee Zeldin began his talk on aircraft noise and other topics at 10AM
- He is in favor of saving Plum Island in its current state; current law says that the island must be sold; the House has passed a bill to stop the sale; he sponsored the bill, the Senate has not voted yet. His goal is to preserve the land and grant public access
- Efforts are under way to allow large trucks on the ferry. He is opposed since it would mean more large trucks on North Fork Roads
- Discussed several North Fork projects including dredging, Hashamomuck Cove and Mattituck Inlet
- Aircraft Noise: Congressman Zeldin believes in local control; he stopped FAA actions against East Hampton Airport by not allowing FAA budgeted funds to be used against East Hampton airport. In his opinion, since helicopters are not landing on the North Fork “why is there a North Fork route at all”; they should travel along the South Shore. “A very simple, permanent solution”, “Environmental Justice”. Some pilots are not following the rules; we should send photos and reports to the FAA and his office; need to keep dialog open. The FAA needs to impose rules and enforce them. Some pilots “care more than others”, “some are responsive, others don’t care”, “Quite frankly, some of these (helicopters) companies don’t care”
- On the FAA; his office has been adversarial with the FAA since mid to late Spring 2015. “The FAA has been silent with everyone: and getting his House bill passed to keep FAA from using funds to fight East Hampton Airport has spooked FAA. Senator Shumer has been much more engaged than Senator Gillibrand”.
Many questions followed the Congressman’s speech:
: Plum Island
: Blue Fish Limit
: Helicopter Noise and who to complain to
: Wind Farms
: Dumping in Long Island Sound
The meeting closed a little after 11:00 AM with MB thanking everyone for their support.