FIWMD is in the process of gathering important information for the public to study regarding our research and planning facilities upgrades. In the meantime, below is some important information.
In 1993 Fishers Island Waste Management District hired engineers to study the waste needs of Fishers Island and came up with a plan for the future. The firm recommended combining the Transfer and Compost Station site. Combining the stations has been an ongoing research project of FIWMD since that time. The amount of waste products produced on the island increases each year. Our environmental responsibilities have also increased and methods of recycling products have improved. Laws and safety regulations have changed and need to be followed and incorporated. We looked very seriously at the future and the needs of the District to determine what works best for the Island. Now is the time to move forward with our strategic plans.
At FIWMD’s meeting on November 2, 2015, Sarah Malinowski said; “After reviewing all the possible alternatives and benefits; I make the motion that we proceed in earnest the facilities upgrade at the current compost station site” Greg Thibodeau seconded and all were in favor.
In combining the stations, we can better utilize our staff, put cost saving programs into effect and produce a great product from the increases in composting that can benefit all of Fishers Island
Updated May 12, 2016: You may not be aware that since 2012 NY State’s Property Tax Cap limits the amount local governments and most school districts can increase property taxes to the lower of two percent or the rate of inflation.
We have recently learned from the Office of the NYS Comptroller that FIWMD is a “Special Independent Tax District”. This means the governing board of FIWMD, with a 60% vote can override the tax limit.
This link will bring you to an estimated debt service schedule over 20 years @ 3.25% for $3,500,000. FIWMD 20 YR BOND SCHEDULE
Below is a chart that shows the current tax that a homeowner pays and the estimated impact of a tax increase to pay the debt. The yellow highlighted cell shows a home with an assessed value of $6,500. This is a made-up number. The chart is automated, you can enter your personal assessed value and the impact will be calculated on the bottom highlighted number in red AUTOMATED TAX INCREASE WORKSHEET
Questions And Answers You May Have About Our Capital Improvement Project:
1. Why do we need to combine the stations, why not leave things as they are?
There are many reasons for combining the facilities
* Current operations are environmentally and legally out of compliance and safety is an issue that needs to be addressed.
* The transfer station site is in a flood zone and there is no way to manage contaminated drainage and stormwater at this location.
* Product Stewardship is giving rise to laws mandating increased recycling and composting.
Product Stewardship – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/66746.html
* The cost of upgrading both stations separately to meet new legal requirements is far more costly than combining everything to one upgraded and improved location.
* To combine the stations, the cost estimates show a savings in construction cost.
* Managing resident and commercial waste deliveries to one site will create a more convenient and efficient experience for Islanders.
* The cost associated with stewardship and continuing to operate two stations would be cost prohibitive; transporting compostable organics and other recyclables from the current transfer station site to the compost site is inconsistent with FIWMD’s Mission Statement and Strategic plans.
2. Can we combine everything at the transfer station?
* No, we do not own the land at the Transfer Station
* The Transfer Station does not have enough land to accommodate the plans
* The property is exposed to wetlands; it is in the flood plain
3. Can’t we just address the safety issues for a lot less money?
* Safety issues are only part of this upgrade. The major part is preparing for new recycling and composting laws and regulations.
4. Won’t there be a lot more traffic going past the school?
* We don’t see how that is possible but recognize it is important to consider as an issue. Certainly, the busiest times for both the transfer station and compost site are summer months when our seasonal residents are here. But during those times, the school has much more limited use.
* The key timeframe to evaluate is when school is in session, and more particularly the most sensitive hours just before school starts or after it ends. This question arises because people are thinking about the traffic that goes to the transfer station site now will in the future be redirected to the compost site to drop off household refuse.
* The District has recently kept records of how many residents use each of the two facilities by day and by time. To consider the impact of shifting all the traffic now going to the transfer station site over to compost site, we looked for a busy day in September, after school was back on its regular session. A typical busy day was Friday September 18th and the busiest hour from 7:30 to 8:30 AM, right after we open our gates. For that hour, we had 10 residents come to the transfer station and 8 to the compost site. Many people go to both stations; so some people were counted both times. Also, a visitor to the transfer station site may have originated the trip from the west end.
* However, if we assume that during that hour no person went to both sites (so no visit to the transfer station was connected with a trip to the compost site) AND that no trips to the transfer station originated on the west end and travelled by the school, then 10 possible trips to the transfer station may be viewed as a future new trip past the school to the compost site. This overstates the traffic issue but we don’t believe an average of one vehicle every 6 minutes can be considered “a lot” of traffic.
5. Why do we have to do it now?
* The amount of waste brought to both stations continues to increase. Currently we do not have the capacity to deal with this amount of waste responsibly.
* The proposed improvements will provide a safer, more environmentally sensitive solution to the Island’s waste management program and as such should be given a priority for implementation.
* Interest rates are at historic lows. If we make these improvements now, the long-term cost will very likely be less than if we wait and interest rates go up.
6. Why is it going to cost so much?
* Our published report 5Feb2016DraftReport provides tables showing the elements of cost for the project, including contingencies and related expenses. The logistic costs of materials, equipment and prevailing wage requirements are major factors in the cost of the project.
* The structures at the compost site were constructed nearly 100 years ago for an entirely different purpose. With the exception of the small office/garage facility no attempt was ever made to actually construct a modern, sound solid waste facility at that location. Improving the structural soundness of the site, complying with safety and environmental regulations add to the cost factors.
* Meeting environmental standards for stormwater management is essential and costly.
* Implementing a modern composting program will reduce the amount of waste travelling off the island and will provide the Island with a state-of-the art system that maximizes on-Island use of resources in our waste stream.
7. Who approves the project?
Updated May 15, 2016: The NYS DEC makes the final approval of the project.
8. Who will pay for the Project, the Town of Southold or Fishers Island?
Updated May 5, 2016: The debt incurred from bonding is paid by the assessment of FI property owner’s taxes.
9. What is the time line for the project?
Updated May 12, 2016: The Town and the DEC will determine the timeline as the project goes through permitting and funding.
10. Are there environmental benefits to combining the stations?
* Yes, unlike the Transfer Station the Compost Station eliminates the potential for floodwaters mixing with refuse.
* The compost site has sufficient land and is arranged so that we can easily collect all drainage and stormwater from the area where the waste containers are kept. The plans include collecting, treating and re-using the drainage water from that area.
* We will reduce our carbon footprint by sending less material to landfills and incinerators
* We will reduce our use of energy for transporting waste; year-round and especially between the months of May through October
11. Is this a short term or long term solution?
* The new infrastructure will provide a long-term solid waste and recycling solution for the residents and businesses of the Island.
12. Will the compost station cause a rodent problem?
* No, neither of the District’s current operations have experienced a rodent problem and that would not change.
13. Will there be a lot of noise and odor?
* No, neither of the District’s current operations generate off-site odors now and that would not change. The noise associated with shredding of brush and logs will not increase. Other processing associated with preparing organics for composting will take place inside the mixing building. From a noise standpoint, the compost site is probably the best location on the Island given its proximity to the Airport.
14. How will this project change the look of the west end of the island?
* The current operations at the compost site are not visible to area residents, that will not change. The mixing building may be visible to a small extent as one approaches the entrance to the site however the District plans to have screening with plantings and fencing.
Please follow the link to view our latest Drafted Facilities Planning Report.
Please follow the following links to the latest Site Improvements/Proposed Lease Limit and the Proposed Overall Layout Plan PLT01_Property Lease Limit Fishers Island Transfer Station PLT02_OVERALL LAYOUT_Fishers Island Transfer Station
DEC Grant Programs relating to FIWMD’s Facilities Upgrading Project
Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling Program (MWR&R)
NYSDEC administers state assistance programs for waste reduction, recycling and household hazardous waste (HHW) programs. Funding is provided on a 50% reimbursement rate for eligible costs.
Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling Program (MWR&R):
Capital Projects – DEC is authorized to provide State assistance for projects that enhance municipal recycling infrastructure through purchasing of equipment or construction of facilities. Some communities used funding to construct materials recycling facilities or state-of-the-art composting facilities. Other communities have been able to purchase recycling containers and new recycling vehicles with their MWR&R funding.
Also, a guideline for DEC Grants Available for the planning facilities upgrades: