The Port Jefferson Village Board of Trustees covered a range of issues during a business meeting Monday, Sept. 19.
With trustees Stan Loucks and Lauren Sheprow absent, the board approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract to purchase the historic derelict home at 49 Sheep Pasture Road.
With this authorization, Mayor Margot Garant announced the village was moving closer to acquiring that property and presented plans once an agreement is met.
“We will be finally securing that property,” the mayor said. “Once we secure it, I’m going to bring the historical society to the table and the preservation company.” [For more information on this property, see The Port Times Record’s 2019 story at TBR News Media’s website: “Port Jeff historians decry potential loss of historic house.”]
Garant also reported the village is pursuing a granting opportunity to subsidize the development of the Six Acre Park along Highlands Boulevard. The grant application process sets certain conditions requiring an applicant to present a concept plan along with other criteria.
“That grant will provide funding for the final buildout in terms of plans and material and construction,” Garant said. Trustee Rebecca Kassay, trustee liaison to the Six Acre Park Committee, added that this “could be an enormous amount of money.”
To satisfy the conditions of the grant application, the board approved a proposal from Hauppauge-based consultancy firm VHB Engineers for $22,750.
The board also voted to reinstate the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council. Based on guidelines from the village code, this advisory council can make recommendations to the board of trustees related to recreational programs, leisure and cultural activities, and parks and playgrounds.
Garant appointed Beth Capodanno, Gerard Gang, Robert Gross, Jennifer Hildreth, Kelly Juliano, Lois Kilkenny and Rima Potter to serve on this reconstituted council. The mayor appointed as alternates Mary O’Sullivan, Thomas Provencher and Dana Eng.
Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden discussed her ongoing work to stabilize the feral cat population villagewide. Coordinating with Jaegers Run Animal Rescue, Snaden requested the board allocate funds for sterilization services and rabies vaccinations to 100 cats per year.
Responding to Snaden’s request, Garant said, “Let’s see if we can appropriate $3,000. It’s a good cause. Lisa [Jaeger]’s a good person, helping in so many ways with all sorts of creatures.”
Snaden additionally reported on an ongoing difference of opinion between the Board of Trustees and the Planning Board regarding active-use space in the Six Acre Park.
Though some members favored an active-use provision at the Six Acre Park, the Planning Board could not reach a consensus on a formal recommendation, according to Snaden. Garant countered these claims by saying, “I think there are tons of recreational opportunities in this village.”
Kassay reported the Beach Street Community Garden program would take place Monday, Sept. 26, from 6-7 p.m.. This program is free to the public and will focus on fall harvesting.
Kassay also discussed her continuing work to investigate tick disease awareness and prevention. According to her, the village has been offered tick removal kits through a Stony Brook University-affiliated disease research center. These kits will most likely be made available at the Village Center. [For more on the issue of ticks in Port Jefferson, see The Port Times Record’s July 21 story, “Tick-borne diseases likely to worsen amid warming temperatures.”]
Kassay concluded her remarks by offering to deliver a presentation to the board on a potential revision in the village code for short-term rental properties. This presentation could come as early as mid-October.
Neither Loucks nor Sheprow delivered a report by proxy.