Messages from Supervisor Marston
Message from Supervisor Peter Marston January 6, 2024:
Happy New Year! We have had a very active kick off to 2024 and have many plans for the upcoming year. I thought I would use this format to keep you abreast of projects, happenings and even concerns that my office receives. My hope is to do a short update on a particular subject monthly.
Several changes have been implemented including two additional Town Board Workshops each month. In addition to the standing Monday night workshop on the first and third week of every month, a workshop during business hours has been added to the second and fourth week of every month. There has also been a restructuring of Town Board Liaisons for both Town Departments and Advisory Boards. Instead of each having one Council member serve as liaison to the Board, the Advisory Chair can meet at any workshop with the entire board. The anticipation is that access to the entire board increases, and communication is streamlined providing quicker responses and service to the needs of both internal departments and for our volunteers serving the community through Advisory Boards.
While many great things have transpired and are underway, I have also had many conversations with concerned residents after the recent weather event of drainage. I am also concerned about drainage on the Island so I thought I would address that as well. Many feel that the areas of flooding have been caused by development, that is not an accurate assessment. The areas of new developments have been required to include an approved drainage plan for their projects, these plans support and aid us in healthy drainage. The primary issue and cause of our problems is the natural drainage to and from our creeks and streams. When I was younger, we were able to catch fish in the stream in Town Commons, that was because of the natural flow of water through the creeks and flow into the river. Today we have so much debris, foliage overgrowth and blockage from fallen trees, the once naturally occurring drainage is impeded or totally bottlenecked and blocked, thus the creeks and streams are rising causing issues for many property owners.
The Island’s soil compositions, being comprised largely of clay-based materials magnify the situation. Over the past decade or more the impediment to the flow of stormwater has caused this increasing level of flooding. In prior years we were able to keep these creeks and streams clean and clear of fallen trees and debris. However, due to restrictions imposed by overarching government agencies it has become impossible for us to maintain the drainage system we once enjoyed.
My goal continues to be that I leave our community better than I found it, therefore, we are working on a solution to this issue. The Town Board is seeking support for the restoration of our watershed’s performance. We will be asking government agencies and officials to engage in conversations regarding the prohibition of stream maintenance imposed and for financial assistance to facilitate us in our corrective measures.
I am hoping that this format can become a good resource to communicate happenings and if so, perhaps I can highlight a topic each month.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve our community.