White Spring: OB Board of Trustees Meeting 3/21/15

By Shoshanna McCollumThere was plenty of fresh white snow on Fire Island for the first day of spring, but the sun was shining on Saturday. Some of the Village Trustees even opted to walk to the school from Village Hall rather than ride the employees van. The draft budget had been presented to the board in executive session. It was described to the audience as part of a “three-year plan,” with the public hearing being slated for the next meeting, scheduled on April 11.“The budget has gone up a lot over the past few years,” said Mayor James Mallot, citing a cumulative increase in the range of 20% over the past two years. “We are trying to keep this year’s increase below 6%.”Mallot further added that the village was “in great financial shape” and went on to discuss availability of a small quantity of remaining bulk ferry tickets for sale, and other routine matters in his Mayor’s report. Then he finally brought up the matter of Windswept, which had stirred some heated debate both on Facebook forums over the prior week as well as the Ocean Beach Association meeting held in New York City, on March 18.“There has been some back and forth,” Mallot remarked. “We thank OBYG for their input and hope any fundraising they do will go toward Windswept. The Village will go forward to elevate the building and rebuild the bulkhead. That’s our plan.”Trustees Gregory Pace and Matthew Blake, who also serve on the Windswept reconstruction committee, then interjected, making a point to say tax-deducible donations to renovate Windswept can be made directly to the Village of Ocean Beach. Such funds will be specifically earmarked for the building’s renovation.Agenda items included approval of a contract awarded to Stout Construction for emergency repair of pilings in the seasonal and transient marinas due to damage over the winter. Another resolution immediately followed declaring emergency repairs were needed to the dock entrance of those marinas, also due to winter damage, with the intent of seeking proposals from qualified contractors for that work as well.Another item of interest was the authorization to once again lease the medical facility on Midway and Bayberry Walk to Southside Hospital’s Urgent Care Facility. The new lease includes a rent bump of 5% for a total of $1,023 a week, for 15 weeks this summer.An addition was added to the published agenda to approve professional survey and appraisal of commercial properties 317 and 318-319 Bay Walk. Fire Island News requested clarification on which properties these were and why the measures were necessary. Mayor Mallot answered that the properties include Town Pizza and Bambootique to address boardwalk/bulkhead replacement issues.“Bayview Condos entered into a contract to deed the bayside boardwalk to the village back in the 1980s,” he explained. “But some property lines are not clear.”Estimated costs to repair a section of the publicly used boardwalk in question are $250,000, according to Mallot. No other comments or questions were asked at the hearing of the citizens, so the meeting was adjourned, just barely over an hour long.Emergency repair of pilings in the Ocean Beach marina was passed at the March 21 meeting.