On a hot summer evening, with others outside listening to live music, roughly three dozen Village of Port Jefferson residents filled the third floor of the Village Center on Wednesday, July 12, tackling a range of local matters at the Port Jefferson Civic Association meeting.
Members of the Village of Port Jefferson Board of Trustees also made their presence felt, with Mayor Lauren Sheprow and trustees Bob Juliano and Drew Biondo in attendance. During the meeting, residents touched upon ongoing work within the village’s Election Committee, discussed water reuse opportunities at Port Jefferson Country Club and addressed possible uses for the Maryhaven Center of Hope property on Myrtle Avenue.
Kathleen McLane, PJCA outreach coordinator, updated the body on the ongoing work coming out of the village’s Election Committee. This advisory committee, McLane indicated, was formed after the village board approved — and subsequently rescinded — term extensions for village offices earlier this year.
Members of the Election Committee are exploring whether village offices require term extensions and limits and whether to alter the month the election is held. To provide input for ongoing Election Committee deliberations, email [email protected].
Maryhaven Center of Hope
Members weighed in on the Maryhaven Center of Hope property on Myrtle Avenue after the village board denied code changes for that property proposed during the spring. [See TBR News Media website for recent stories.]
Civic president Ana Hozyainova suggested that the civic work “to develop a vision.”
“We, as a larger community, need to come up with a plan, develop a budget and draw up these plans at the local level and the higher levels” of government, she added.
Steve Velazquez proposed that the Maryhaven property could serve a variety of municipal functions, accommodating both relocated emergency service headquarters and a new Village Hall.
“There’s a lot of land,” he said. “And that type of land just doesn’t come available” very often. He added, “It would save the taxpayers a lot of money by using one facility for multiple uses.”
Guest speaker John Turner, conservation chair of the Four Harbors Audubon Society, returned to the civic body to inform them of an initiative for water reuse.
Reusing treated wastewater, according to him, could have several environmental benefits. He said reusing treated effluent water would help reduce nitrogen levels in local water bodies and ease the strain upon the area’s limited water supply. [See last week’s story, “SCWA ‘pleading with the public’ to conserve water.”]
“We have to begin to meaningfully reduce the amount of nitrogen we’re allowing into … the environment,” Turner said. “Places like Port Jeff, where there are sewers, there’s an additional opportunity to try to reduce the nitrogen going into Port Jeff Harbor.”
He encouraged the village officials in the room to write to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to set aside funds from the recently approved $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act for water reuse purposes.
PJCA will not meet in August. The civic body will reconvene Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Port Jefferson Free Library.