Council suggests deer hunters only take one buckAlso considers allowing security camera in Old Harbor
If the state Department of Environmental Management adopts a Town Council suggestion, hunters on Block Island this year would only be allowed to hunt one buck, or male antlered deer, on Block Island for the season.
“If you want to reduce the deer, reduce the does,” said resident Chris Blane, a hunter. Blane said that for every doe, or female deer, that is hunted, essentially three deer (the other two its potential offspring) would be eliminated.
Currently, hunters can take three bucks on Block Island, but can take an unlimited amount of does.
“I don’t see the reason to limit it,” said First Warden Kim Gaffett, who opposed the vote. She disagreed with Blane. “Now you can take x number of does and three bucks. You’re just reducing your overall potential of deer taken by two.”
Blane argued that the hunters would hunt bucks instead of does if allowed to take more bucks. “Most of these guys will let five does walk right by to get that buck,” said Blane.
Homeland Security camera
The town council also entertained at its Wednesday meeting a proposal to place a Homeland Security camera at Old Harbor for port security use, but did not make a final decision on this because there was not enough information.
A representative from Rhode Island Port Security had asked the council if there could be a camera placed at Old Harbor. The camera would only be aimed at the ocean, said Town Manager Nancy Dodge.
“I would want to know who would have access,” said Town Councilor Chris Warfel. “I do worry about ‘big brother’ and how it could be used.”
Town Councilor Norris Pike agreed, “My only reservation is ‘big brother.’”
The council voted to accept the idea of the camera, but requested more information from R.I. Port Security.
Medication at BIHS
The council voted to support proposed state legislation that would allow the Block Island Medical Center to deliver medications and perform X-ray services on-island.
“We had been faulted for dispensing medications and for a nurse doing X-rays,” said Medical Center Director Barbara Baldwin in an email to council members. “The problem is that there are no radiology technicians on the island and our X-ray program is limited to chest and extremities. Also, there are times when we need to dispense medications as the patient needs medications sooner than a pharmacy can get them here.”
Under the proposed legislation, Block Island would be exempt from state requirements in an emergency situation.
“There are times when we all needed these services to be provided without getting to the mainland,” said Second Warden Ken Lacoste. “I’m grateful the director is willing to go this route.”
The council support passed in a 4-1 vote. Councilor Sean McGarry opposed the motion because he said he had not ample time to review the resolution, which came to the council that day.
In other matters, the council voted 3-2 to increase fees for golden shellfishing licenses, which are given to applicants age 65 and older. The yearly fee for the license will now be $10, and it was previously $1.
Gaffett and McGarry opposed this vote — both had been in favor to increase the fee to $20 instead.
“I don’t think it’s always appropriate just to routinely give a break to a senior citizen,” said Gaffett. “I feel like a $20 fee is a reasonable fee for a year-long license.”
The town Shellfish Commission had advised the council to increase the fee to $10.
Also, the town council approved an expanded tax on vehicles. Vehicles registered in the town with a value above $1,000 will be taxed. Previously, motor vehicles valued above $6,000 were taxed. There was no public comment on this topic.