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Shelter Island offering tourists a toilet

The South Ferry, which carries cars and trucks,

The South Ferry, which carries cars and trucks, plies its way between Shelter Island and North Haven. Everything must be ferried on to the island -- from pavement for the roads, to provisions for the stores, to supplies, to the mail. (May 7, 2011) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Shelter Island is putting up a portable toilet for summer, just in time for visitors who take the ferry from Greenport and stop off in the little business district near the town wharf on Bridge Street.

There are few public toilets on Shelter Island, and some restaurant owners reserve their bathrooms for customers only.

The town board had been talking about installing a portable toilet for several weeks, but there was no overall agreement on precisely where to put it.

Still, at a recent work session, board members decided that the need for people to go to the bathroom outweighed the other problems and decided — without taking a formal vote — that the portable toilet should be placed on the town wharf rather than Volunteer Park, one alternate location under discussion.

“We’ll keep a close eye on it,” Supervisor James Dougherty said, adding the facility would be cleaned regularly and should not pose a problem. He estimated the cost at “a few hundred dollars.”

Above: The South Ferry, which carries passengers between Shelter Island and North Haven. (May 7, 2011)

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