Tag Archive | "Suffolk County"

Peconic Bay Water Jitney Will Not Return to Sag Harbor in 2013

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Despite finding some success late this summer, Hampton Jitney President Geoffrey Lynch announced this week the Peconic Bay Water Jitney would not traverse the waters between Sag Harbor and Greenport villages this summer, citing the financial cost of funding the water taxi service.

“Having said that, we don’t want to stop pursuing funding from outside sources, whether public or private,” said Lynch at a Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night, adding the company would look into possible federal funding to help cover the capital costs needed to make the service a success.

The Peconic Bay Water Jitney – as it was coined by Lynch and his brother Andrew, and Response Marine owner Jim Ryan – made its official maiden voyage between Long Wharf in Sag Harbor and Mitchell Park in Greenport on June 28. The launch followed a contentious debate about the impact the ferry would have on the quality of life of both Sag Harbor residents and businesses, fears of a demand for parking and an increase in traffic dominating the discussion.

Ultimately, with the exception of former village board member Tim Culver, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees signed off on the temporary use of Long Wharf for the service and passed a local law allowing passenger ferry service, which like vehicular ferries is illegal in Sag Harbor, for one summer season.

For the Lynch brothers and Ryan, this opportunity was viewed not only as a business venture, but also as an opportunity to study a new form of transportation on the East End – water based transportation in a region historically and recreationally celebrated because of its access to the water.

The ferry service, which ran on a single leased catamaran with 53 seats below deck and an additional 20 seats on the top deck, ran for approximately 85 days, ending on September 30.

According to Lynch, during that time, the ferry service carried 16,650 passengers, starting with just 212 at the end of June, growing to 5,404 passengers in July and peaking at 7,402 passengers in August before serving 3,632 passengers in September.

Lynch said that averaged to about 195 passengers a day, not the 250 to 300 passengers daily the company had hoped for, but “pretty good,” said Lynch. “And it certainly opens the door in terms of potential, but what the service needs is someone who has the financial resources to handle the start up costs for the appropriate vessel and can handle a loss over multiple seasons before the service is reliable enough for people to use on a regular basis.”

“We grossed about $160,000 in revenue,” said Lynch. “We spent a heck of a lot more than that.”

Financially, the 2012 operating costs were close to $500,000. According to figures provided by Lynch, the vessel lease of the John Keith from the New York Water Taxi Service cost the company $110,000, with insurance coming in at $41,000. Staff wages cost $86,000, with vessel fuel costs – admittedly higher than Lynch originally expected – at $91,000. The creation of a shuttle service for passengers cost the company $74,000 and docking fees in Sag Harbor and Greenport were a total of $24,000.

The ferry employed a total of 15 people during its service, including four United States Coast Guard licensed captains who operated the John Keith, six deckhands, two shuttle bus drivers, two call center customer care representatives and one person in charge of administration and accounting.

Lynch said the firm also utilized local contractors for fuel, mechanics, parts supplies, dock building, welding and print and radio advertising.

“Anecdotally, I would say the service was a huge hit,” said Lynch. “I heard very little negative feedback from customers, municipal agencies. I think we had one sailboater in the harbor who didn’t like the boat. Financially, it was certainly a bust for the Peconic Jitney and for myself and my brother who were funding this thing. Given that, we don’t have any immediate plans to go forward with the service for 2013.”

Lynch said this season was a learning experience, similar to what any new business venture would go through. He said one vessel proved not to be enough in order to keep the frequency of trips in line with demand and keep crowds at a minimum at docking sites.

In terms of the long-term goal of expanding the passenger ferry service to other waterfront ports on the East End, Lynch said another, larger vessel would be required to comfortably traverse the water.

Lynch said, based on credit card receipts, it did appear the service was favored locally – locals making up a majority of riders rather than just day trippers and tourists.

“So the appetite for this from a local perspective is there and the potential for tourists and other day trippers,” he said. “There was a much broader market out there and I am hopeful we can continue, but we cannot do it on our own.”

According to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, who praised the service and pushed for the temporary permit to allow it to run in the summer of 2012, if the Peconic Bay Water Jitney does come back to the village with a 2013 proposal, it will have to start from scratch in terms of earning approval to run the service, and run it from Long Wharf – newly acquired by the Village of Sag Harbor through a deal with Suffolk County.

Schneiderman Praises County Budget as “Good for the East End”

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At the November 20 meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman said lawmakers were surprised to learn that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone had not vetoed a single budget amendment proposed by the legislature for the $2.8 billion 2013 budget.

In previous years, according to Schneiderman, former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy vetoed many changes proposed by the legislature to the budget submitted by the county executive.

“Not this year,” said Schneiderman. “There is a much greater level of cooperation between the two branches of government. We have come together to tackle the fiscal challenges that face the county as a team, and it’s paying off.”

Schneiderman said the county’s financial situation has improved greatly, in part because of what he called “difficult choices” the legislature has made including significant reductions in the county workforce. This year alone, Schneiderman said he and other lawmakers agreed to eliminate 700 positions from the county workforce.

Legislator Schneiderman served as a member of the Legislature’s Budget Working Group.

“The approved budget is good for the East End in many ways,” said Schneiderman who said this is the ninth county budget he has participated in without a general fund property tax increase.

“These are challenging times for everyone,” said Legislator Schneiderman. “It is our responsibility as elected officials to find ways to operate government without asking residents to contribute more.”

The county also increased dredging by $5 million for next year and increased the sales tax revenues distributed to East End police departments by $3.5 million while also decreasing the amount given to western Suffolk County by $17.2 million. Schneiderman said he has also secured an additional $113,500 in hotel tax revenues for East End museums and cultural centers, including Guild Hall, Bay Street Theater, Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and the new Parrish Art Museum.

Schneiderman said money was also allocated for the renovation of the John A. Ward Memorial Windmill in Sag Harbor. A total of $218,500 was given in cultural funding to East End organizations.

The budget also established a $5 million emergency fund for Hurricane Sandy related repairs.

 

County Sidewalk Project on Turnpike Irks Environmentalists

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A Suffolk County sidewalk construction project already partially completed on the Sag Harbor/Bridgehampton Turnpike has drawn the criticism of both the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt (FLPG) and the South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo) this week. Both groups — who have fired off letters to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman — are worried that high curbs and large drainage structures will threaten the migratory abilities for animals like frogs, salamanders and turtles that populate the Long Pond Greenbelt.

The Long Pond Greenbelt nature preserve, which features a series of ponds and wetland areas, stretches along the eastern side of the turnpike and is the habitat for a number of species of animals, including the endangered Eastern Tiger Salamander.

This week, FLPG President Dai Dayton said she was concerned that Slade Pond, on the western side of the turnpike — also known as County Road 79 — is home for a number of salamanders and turtles who use the turnpike as a crossway. Dayton said the curbing will be impossible for those animals to surmount leading to certain death on the roadway instead.

Dayton added the drainage structures the county is installing are so large that salamanders, turtles and other small animals like foxes, raccoons, rabbits and even cats or dogs could easily fall into them with no means of escape.

Frank Quevedo, the Executive Director of SoFo, shares FLPG’s concerns.

“We are speaking on behalf of the animals as they are not able to speak for themselves and requesting the work being done on County Road 79 be stopped temporarily so that we can implement turtle safe sidewalks into the remaining work,” he said on Monday.

On Tuesday, Schneiderman said he had already reached out to the project engineer who said it was possible to make the remaining sidewalk with mountable curbs for the turtles, with specific attention paid to the area around Slade Pond. He said the county engineers would work with Dayton and Quevedo on the project.

Schneiderman said he would also look at what options could be explored in terms of the drainage structures.

“When we had public meetings, people did ask for curbing, but obviously we can address this and anything is possible,” he said.

Nature Conservancy & Suffolk County Officially Preserve 29 Acres in North Haven

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Two weeks ago, The Nature Conservancy took title to a 29 acre property in North Haven Village that will be transferred to Suffolk County sometime next month and will be preserved as parkland.

North Haven Village will manage the parkland on behalf of Suffolk County.

According to The Nature Conservancy’s conservation advisor Randy Parsons, property owner Andrew Lack agreed to sell the parcel to the Conservancy for $3.7 million. In 2010, the Conservancy and Suffolk County struck a deal where the county agreed it would re-purchase the property for the same price with monies from the county’s water protection fund.

The deal was not without its headaches, noted Parsons, including a veto on the purchase by then Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. That veto was overridden with help from Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, enabling the county to announce it had a formal deal with the Conservancy to work on purchasing the property together in August of 2011.

“He was really instrumental in this coming together,” said Parsons during a walk throughout the new preserve, which includes two-acres of wetlands at Fresh Pond and wooded uplands Parsons said he hopes will be used for passive recreation like hiking. The property connects Fresh Pond and the Peconic Estuary across from the Conservancy’s 2,039 acre Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island through a narrow tidal creek that on Tuesday afternoon was home to two blue herons.

Lack, the former president of NBC News, had subdivided 12 acres of the land into five building lots, according to a map produced by the Conservancy and was once zoned for two acre residential development. Now, those lots, along with the remaining 17 acres, have been merged and protected.

“In addition to providing a beautiful place for peaceful walks, this parcel is important for shoreline and water quality protection,” said The Nature Conservancy’s Executive Director Nancy Kelley. “The salt marsh on this parcel plays an important part in filtering land-based sources of pollution to the Peconic Bay. The upland areas provide a spot for salt marsh migration in the face of accelerated sea level rise.”

According to Legislator Schneiderman, while purchasing the property has been a priority of the Conservancy, it was really North Haven Village Mayor Laura Nolan who brought the property to the county’s attention.

“This is a critical environmental area and she recognized that,” said Legislator Schneiderman. “It creates a large block of open space and I think there is habitat value as well. This was very important to North Haven Village. Certainly a top priority for that board.”

The land is nestled between the Peconic Estuary, as well as a 64 acre stretch of land on which the Peconic Land Trust holds easement and close to 40 undeveloped acres in private ownership.

“This parkland has the potential to grow,” noted Parsons. “It could even double in size.”

Future of Sag Harbor-Greenport Ferry Service Unclear

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By Kathryn G. Menu

Whether or not the Peconic Bay Water Jitney — a passenger ferry service between Sag Harbor and Greenport that operated on a pilot season basis throughout the summer of 2012 — will be proposed for 2013 remains uncertain.

The passenger ferry service has been running since July after both Sag Harbor and Greenport villages green-lit a trial run in May. The Peconic Bay Water Jitney is a partnership between the Hampton Jitney and Response Marine’s Jim Ryan, who oversees the water Jitney between the villages. The Jitney seats 53 people below deck and has over 20 seats on the top deck.

The permit from the Village of Sag Harbor allows the service to run through October 31 when the temporary law allowing passenger ferry service from Long Wharf will sunset and ferry service will become illegal in Sag Harbor without board intervention.

Since the service started, the village has been studying the impact of the ferry service through its environmental planning consultants, Inter-Science Research Associates.

According to Inter-Science President Rich Warren, that study will not be completed until later this month.

According to Ryan, there has been no official discussions about the future of the ferry service while the Hampton Jitney awaits financial statistics about the ferry service expected later this month.

While Hampton Jitney vice-president Andrew Lynch did not return calls for comment this week, in last week’s edition of The Southampton Press, Hampton Jitney President Geoff Lynch stated the service generated less than $200,000 in revenue, with daily ridership around 200 passengers, short of the 300 to 350 the company originally said was necessary to keep the business afloat.

In that interview, Lynch said outside investors would likely be needed for the service to continue in 2013.

On Monday, Lynch said nothing was off the table and that he has personally met with investors regarding the future of the passenger ferry, which he said, despite rumors, has no intention of expanding to include a Connecticut launch to casinos, nor has any dream of making Sag Harbor Village a passenger ferry hub.

If anything, said Lynch, if the service moves forward, because of the lack of infrastructure in Sag Harbor it would look to a maritime port like Greenport to become a hub, but that even for 2013, the company was simply not there yet.

If they do want to move forward in 2013, the Peconic Bay Water Jitney will need the approval, again, of the Suffolk County Legislature as well as the village boards in Sag Harbor and Greenport.

In Sag Harbor, if the Peconic Bay Water Jitney hopes to operate outside of a conditional license it will likely need approval from not only the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees, but also the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee, its planning board and potentially its zoning board of appeals.

Sag Harbor Trustees Push Forward Plans for Outside Police Services

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Any question about whether or not the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees was bluffing as a means of strong-arming the Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) into a contract agreement when it talked about looking elsewhere for police services was answered on Friday morning.

After a two-hour executive session on Friday, the trustees voted 3-1 to authorize Sag Harbor Village attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and the village’s labor attorney Vincent Twomey to draft an early retirement incentive package for eligible village police officers. In addition, they were instructed to draft an inter-municipal agreement between the Village of Sag Harbor and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office for police service.

Trustee Kevin Duchemin voted against the resolution.

In an exploratory fashion, Thiele will now begin to look at what other municipalities have done in terms of shared police services.

“To say there are a lot of details and issues out there would be an understatement,” said Thiele on Wednesday. “Really, this is the village doing its due diligence and examining the legal issues involved.”

Thiele acknowledged that if the village board tells him to strike a deal with the Suffolk County Sheriffs’ office he is authorized to do so, but that “we have not proceeded far enough for that to happen yet.”

What has happened, however, is it does appear that the sheriff’s have edged out East Hampton and Southampton Town Police Departments as the favored candidate for sharing police services.

This summer, facing a stalled contract negotiation with the PBA, the village board asked all three agencies to submit proposals to provide police services in the village.

Village police officers have been working without a new contract for more than a year.

On Monday, Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride said the village has received proposals from the sheriffs as well as East Hampton Town, but not from Southampton Town. He said the Suffolk County Sheriffs have currently offered the most competitive proposal.

The contents of the proposal have not been made public.

According to Mayor Gilbride, the Sheriffs have stated — in writing — that they could provide two police officers and cars for all shifts in Sag Harbor at a cost of $923,000, far below the over $2 million budget of the Sag Harbor Village Police Department.

However, according to Gilbride, he would like to see the village maintain its police department, but cut the number of officers from 12 to six, having another agency provide police services during the shifts not covered by members of the local department. Gilbride said the sheriff’s office has estimated the village could save between $400,000 and $600,000 annually if it took this route.

The mayor added that negotiations with the PBA, which are in arbitration, have continued to be “unproductive.” Gilbride and trustee Ed Gregory met with PBA President Patrick Milazzo last week, but failed to come to any agreement on a new contract.

“They do a great job and we love these guys, but when looking at these costs it is just a question if such a small village can afford this,” said Gilbride.

For Duchemin, who voted against the resolution, this is not what he believes the residents of Sag Harbor want.

“I can understand where the mayor is coming from,” said Duchemin on Wednesday. “His whole mindset is to save the taxpayers money; but I hear nothing but positive things from the taxpayers about the department and a lot of them are wondering why we would get rid of them.”

Duchemin said one resident even showed him his tax bill and remarked on how little he is paying for comprehensive police services.

The PBA, he added, would never be able to pare down its contract to provide the village with the kind of savings it is looking at if it contracts with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office.

“But until this is approved by the Suffolk County Legislature this isn’t going anywhere,” added Duchemin, adding he wonders if the legislature or even Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone knows what is being proposed behind closed doors.

 

Sag Harbor Village Hatches Long Term Plan for Long Wharf

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It’s been about two years since Suffolk County officials first approached Sag Harbor Village with news that a mounting county budget deficit had led them to consider giving the village Long Wharf, technically a county road, and all costs associated with its long-term maintenance.

Since that time, the county legislature waffled on the transfer, then appeared willing to go through with the offer. But then a change in command came in 2011 with the election of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, further stalling an official transfer of Long Wharf to Sag Harbor as the county reorganized itself under new leadership.

However, last month, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman — a longtime supporter of the transfer of Long Wharf to Sag Harbor Village — said he expects the county to formally sign off on the deal some time before December.

If the deal goes through, the village will have in its ownership one of the most iconic properties in Sag Harbor, a wharf that already provides a source of revenue for the village, but also comes with a lot of expenses.

During Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Brian Gilbride said he has contacted village treasurer Eileen Touhy and asked her to advise the board about creating a capital reserve fund to cover the long-term costs of maintaining Long Wharf.

According to a 2010 assessment of Long Wharf, completed by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, at that point a total of $621,000 in repairs were necessary to keep the wharf in good condition.

Mayor Gilbride estimated Long Wharf incurs an estimated $100,000 in maintenance needs each year, meaning as of 2012 about $800,000 in repairs and maintenance could be needed.

While the village does have an estimated $2 million in its reserve fund, Mayor Gilbride said that money should be reserved for critical projects like the remediation of the Havens Beach stormwater runoff drainage ditch and for emergency expenditures.

Taking a cue from an idea presented by the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee last year, Mayor Gilbride said he would like to see all revenues from renting Long Wharf — this season an estimated $85,000 — funneled into that account.

Gilbride said he hopes to have a reserve account for the wharf in place sometime in the next two weeks.

Trustee Seat Up For Grabs

On Tuesday night, with Sag Harbor Trustee Robby Stein still hospitalized after a bicycle accident Sunday and with the recent resignation of trustee Tim Culver, Mayor Gilbride was joined on the dais by just two members of the village board — trustees Kevin Duchemin and Ed Gregory.

Sag Harbor resident Nada Barry wondered when the board would look to appoint someone to the board to replace Culver, whose term was set to expire in nine months.

Mayor Gilbride said at this point he had no intentions of making an appointment, later adding if it is the will of the board he would prefer to see the public elect a new trustee next summer rather than appoint someone.

Harbor Committee Talks Ferry

In other news, the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee met on Monday evening and at the close of its session, members talked about the possibility of the Hampton Jitney proposing a long-term passenger ferry service out of Sag Harbor.

This summer, the Hampton Jitney launched a passenger ferry, the Peconic Bay Water Jitney, which runs service between Greenport and Sag Harbor villages.

Ferry service — passenger or vehicular — is illegal under the Sag Harbor Village code, but early this summer the village board agreed to allow the Hampton Jitney to operate the service on a temporary basis for one summer season to study the impact it could have on the village.

The service started out slow, but picked up in terms of passengers as the summer season progressed, prompting the Hampton Jitney to expand the service through the month of September.

The village’s conditional approval of the ferry service sunsets at the end of October.

Whether or not the Hampton Jitney will pursue an application for a long-term passenger ferry service out of Sag Harbor Village remains uncertain. According to Hampton Jitney vice president Andrew Lynch, the company has yet to make a decision on that front.

However, members of the Harbor Committee are already attempting to understand the legal implications of such a proposal.

According to Sag Harbor Village attorney Denise Schoen, if the village board wanted to consider allowing a long-term service it would need to adopt a new local law.

Suffolk County is the permitting agent for all ferry service in terms of its license to operate and rates and has already given the Peconic Bay Water Jitney a five-year license. However, the ferry cannot operate out of Sag Harbor without village approval once its conditional approval ends this fall.

“My question is, once we give them a permit to dock on our dock do we have any control on where they go,” asked Harbor Committee Chairman Bruce Tait on Monday night.

Tait said his concern was the service could balloon from a small ferry service between the North and South Forks to a multi-pronged ferry service offering other destinations like Montauk or Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

Schoen said she did not believe the village could mandate how the Hampton Jitney decides to run its passenger ferry business, but that village attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. was already researching the village’s options should it want to continue to allow the service, but with some restriction.

Tait also wondered if a year-to-year license agreement might protect the village.

Schoen said as property owners of Long Wharf a license agreement may give the village board leeway in deciding not to renew the license if the service grows beyond what the village deems appropriate for Sag Harbor.

“The general consensus from the public and from our internal ferry committee is the negative impact of the ferry has been very little,” noted Tait.

“One of the caveats to that,” added Sag Harbor Village environmental planning consultant Rich Warren, “is that is based on where the ferry is right now.”

“And we don’t know what the future is,” agreed Tait.

Suffolk County Tests Wastewater Treatment Technology in Sag Harbor

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On Monday, August 27, Suffolk County officials in conjunction with Sag Harbor Village and the Southampton-based Evergreen Wastewater Treatment Systems, Inc. installed Global Water’s Wastewater Recycling Test system at the Sag Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant on Bay Street.

According to Damon Futterman of Evergreen Wastewater Treatment Systems, Inc. the “green” wastewater recycling system is one the United States military has used for over a decade. The system produces potable effluent, said Futterman, and no sludge — the byproduct of most wastewater treatment facilities which smells and can be potentially damaging to the environment when sold as fertilizer after being processed.

“It’s a totally green system,” said Futterman, who will have the rights to sell the system on Long Island if Suffolk County officials find the test in Sag Harbor is indeed successful.

Futterman said he learned about the technology after trying to find a solution for Southampton Village’s business district. Once the county heard about the technology, it was suggested that it be tested in Sag Harbor to see if it would be an effective method for local governments to explore as the county pushes for more environmentally sensitive wastewater methods — both in traditional wastewater treatment plants and in home septic systems.

According to Futterman, Suffolk County and an independent environmental testing firm will complete the study on the system’s effectiveness by the end of September.

LaValle Bill Supporting Breast Cancer Patients Signed into Law

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A bill sponsored by New York Senator Kenneth P. LaValle that would help some breast cancer patients by requiring insurance companies to cover reconstruction for partial mastectomies has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill adds partial mastectomies to law that already covers reconstruction for full mastectomies.

“This law follows my 1997 legislation, now law, requiring insurance providers to include coverage for complete breast reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy,” Senator LaValle said. “Partial mastectomy is the most common form of breast cancer surgery and should be required to be covered by insurance providers.”

“Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer should be able concentrate on getting well and recovering, not about whether insurance will pay for reconstruction if they are undergoing a partial mastectomy,” Senator LaValle added.
The law follows another LaValle measure, legislation he supported to improve early breast cancer detection that was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 24. That law will increase women’s awareness of the presence of dense breast tissue found during a mammography exam. Dense breast tissue may make it more difficult to detect tumors.

“This new law will help save women’s lives by increasing awareness of a known breast cancer risk factor,” said LaValle. “Along with routine breast cancer screenings, the information provided by physicians to those with dense breast tissue can help increase early detection of the disease and give patients a greater ability to make educated decisions about their health.”

Police Continue Search for Hit & Run Driver

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This week, Southampton Town Police urged a 30-year-old Latino believed to have been the driver of a car that hit and killed Roman Catholic Sister Jacqueline Walsh in Water Mill last week to come forward and turn himself into police.

According to Southampton Town Police Chief William Wilson, the man — whose name police are withholding at this time — is purposefully evading police at this point.

“We are not going to stop until this suspect is taken into custody,” said Wilson during a Monday morning press conference on a different matter. “We are working with the county, the state and U.S. Marshalls. I am putting every investigative resource into this case.”

Wilson said the department, working with other agencies, has followed up on a number of tips from community members about the location of the man in question, but that he appears to be moving around, evading arrest so far.

Wilson declined to say when the department would release the name or a photograph of the suspect, but added he would do so when his investigative team believes that is the best course of action.

Police have described the individual as a “white, Hispanic male,” about 5’7” with short spiked hair. Police believe he was wearing dark shorts and a white shirt at the time of the incident.

Sister Walsh, 59, of Syosset was struck and killed during the hit-and-run accident on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill on Monday, July 9 around 8:30 p.m. Sister Walsh was on a religious retreat at the Sisters of Mercy house and was taking a walk when she was hit by a 2009 Volkswagen Touareg.

Police responded to the scene after receiving reports of a woman lying on the roadway, “bleeding and unresponsive.”

According to police, it appears the driver of the vehicle was an employee of the car’s owner — Rose Hill Road resident Andrew Zaro. The SUV was abandoned on a street nearby the scene of the hit and run.

Sister Walsh was a pastoral associate of St. Edward the Confessor Church in Syosset. Over the weekend, she was laid to rest at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, reportedly drawing hundreds to the burial on Saturday, thousands attending her wake on Friday night.

On Monday, Chief Wilson was adamant that justice would be served on behalf of Sister “Jackie,” as she was affectionately known by family and friends.

“We have investigators working very hard on this,” he said. “We will make every attempt we can to take this suspect into custody.”

In addition to the Southampton Town Police Department, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the state police and the U.S. Marshals are aiding in the investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Southampton Town Police Department’s Detective’s Unit at 702-2230.