MIFD has a contract with another local fire district for fire protection (currently it is Mystic Fire Department’s B.F. Hoxie Engine Company). The fire station is within a short distance of Mason’s Island and is equipped with tanker trucks. Fire hydrants are located within the District no more than 900 ft apart to insure an adequate supply of water (the fire trucks carry 1,000 ft of hose). The cost of fire protection is one of the largest expenditures in the MIFD budget.
With minor exception, all roads and rights of way within the District are the property of the Mason’s Island Property Owners Association. The Roads Committee (with representation by MIPOA and MIFD) is responsible for the maintenance of all roads and rights of way. The Committee also is responsible for the installation of road signs, painted lines and speed bumps. A general contractor is hired to oversee and provide these services when needed.
Although MIFD is authorized by State law to hire police officers, it has not done so. The Town of Stonington Police patrols the District. The District’s Traffic Advisory Committee is authorized to hire a Traffic Control Officer, who is stationed at the guardhouse on summer weekends and holidays, as well as other times throughout the year. The Officer’s primary duty is to control traffic entering the District and limit traffic to authorized persons. The Traffic Control officer is not a police officer and does not have the power of arrest. Any infractions of the law should be reported directly to the Stonington Police, not to the Traffic Control Officer.
Anyone without a Mason’s Island decal on their vehicle is required to give their name and destination to the Traffic Control Officer at the guardhouse. To better enable the Traffic Control Officer to recognize residents at the main gate, residents should display a Mason’s Island decal on the driver’s side windshield of their vehicles. Decals may be obtained from MIFD’s Traffic Advisory Chairperson or their designated representative(s). When residents sell or trade-in their cars, they are asked to remove the decal in order to prevent access to the Island by non-residents who buy their old cars. Residents are also requested to leave the names of guests visiting during duty hours with the Traffic Control Officer.
THE SPEED LIMIT ON ALL ROADS WITHIN THE DISTRICT IS 25 MPH. However, the narrow and curvy nature of some of the Island’s roads frequently requires slower speeds. No unregistered motor vehicles of any type may be operated on roads within the District*. Only persons with a valid operator’s license may drive on the roads.
Overnight parking on roads is prohibited including the pavement and unpaved shoulder on either side. Although the roads are private, all Town of Stonington and State of Connecticut motor vehicle laws and regulations apply and are enforced. There are no sidewalks on the Island. Pedestrians are required by state law to walk facing oncoming traffic. Bicycles are required to go with traffic. Please wear reflective material and carry flashlights after dark.
*Exception Golf Carts, Club Carts, Vespas (see Guidelines for Mason’s Island Property Owners and Renters book)
Parks, Ponds, Beaches and Recreation Areas
All park and recreation areas are either the property of the Company or the District, and are maintained and operated by the District. In addition to the defined areas, there is a five-foot wide footpath right of way around the shores of the Ice Pond and across private properties for the use of property owners. The District maintains this path. Skating on the pond is at the risk of the individual, parent or guardian.
NOTE: The small pond on the south side of the causeway by the Ice Pond is owned by adjoining property owners and does not have a right of way around it.
In 1995 the Company and The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut, Inc. entered into a conservation easement which prohibits development on a 46.5 acre tract of land abutting the east side of the Great Salt Marsh, including 17.5 acres of marsh land. Residents of the District are permitted to walk along trails and paths on this land and to enjoy the beauty of the woods and marsh.
The Company owns several beaches. Most of these areas are open for use and enjoyment. One issue that becomes troublesome is when people are trying to enjoy the area and dogs are left loose to romp in the water or freely roam the beach and rocks. This is particularly a concern when the beach is small (i.e. at the end of Skiff Lane). The animal owner may not understand how this adversely affects others. In order to allow enjoyment of these areas without adverse conditions, we will have the following guideline at the beach at the end of Skiff Lane: No dogs are allowed on the beach between May 1 and the day after Labor Day between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The Town requires that residents separate recyclables from other trash. Special instructions for recycling are available at the Town of Stonington (see “Solid Waste and Recycling” under the Town Departments tab). Stonington currently uses single stream recycling with nothing needed to be sorted in the standard blue recycling bin.
Rubbish and non-recyclables, exclusive of household hazardous waste, must be placed in Yellow Municipal Plastic Bags, which can be purchased at local supermarkets and other stores. Fees from the sale of yellow rubbish bags pay for the cost of disposal. This “Pay by the Bag Program” is discussed further on the Town of Stonington web site.
A private company under contract to the Town of Stonington handles rubbish collection. Collection is generally made early on Thursday mornings (Friday, if Thursday is a holiday). The collector picks up all
yellow bags and recyclables at each house. Residents are encouraged to avoid placing their trash on the roadside. However, residents will need to tell the collectors where to find their refuse (i.e. inside a basement door, garage or shed). If you have any problems or questions, contact the District Chairperson for Refuse.
MIFD receives numerous comments from residents whose neighbors leave trash and recyclables containers by the road or in full view overnight or longer. Residents are asked to put away promptly all trash and recycling containers. Residents who expect to be away on collection day are encouraged to ask a neighbor to place these objects out of sight.
The Stonington Transfer Station accepts all other refuse, including bulky waste such as furniture, mattresses, appliances, TVs, computer monitors, leaves, yard waste and other items for recycling. Reusable items such as household furnishings, books, and other products can be dropped off at the
Reusable Shed at the Transfer Station. For current fees and hours of operation call the Transfer Station (860-535-5088).
Items classified as Household Hazardous Waste are identified on the Town of Stonington website. The communities in Southeastern Connecticut schedule several days each year when they accept Household Hazardous Waste at various collection points. To find out the date and location of the next Hazardous Waste collection call the Stonington Solid Waste Office (860-535-5099).
Like many coastal communities, Masons Island has been a prime habitat for deer ticks, the carriers of debilitating and deadly diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. The Mason’s Island Fire District (MIFD) Board of Directors has been very proactive in tackling this problem and has developed a Lyme Disease Prevention Program designed to protect our residents from tick borne illness to the extent possible. The Program encourages universal tick control by providing residents with tick control options attractive to constituents based on effectiveness, affordability and ecological neutrality.
In addition to our annual tick control program, MIFD has further participated in multiple scientific studies in conjunction with The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The CT Department of Environmental Protection, and the CT Agricultural Experiment Station to further develop tick control programs and to evaluate their effectiveness.
These studies have been implemented in conjunction with tick scientists from across the country including Dr. Kirby Stafford, Vice Director and Chief Entomologist with the CT Department of Entomology and the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, Dr. Thomas Mather, the Director of the URI Center for Vector Borne Diseases and Dr. Mat Pound, Research Entomologist for the Knipling-Bushland US Livestock Insects Research Laboratory out of Kerry, Texas.
We continue to research the entire issue of Tick Control with the goal of developing the best possible community-wide program. Specifics on the MIFD Lyme Disease Prevention Program and the latest information is provided in the MIFD documents section.
As Mason’s Island residents, you are encouraged to actively participate in the MIFD Lyme Disease Prevention Program as well as take personal precautions to protect yourself and your family as well as your pets from all tick borne illnesses. Good tick management techniques include the following:
- Wear protective clothing, and shower after working outside.
- Treat pets with tick control products.
- Check yourselves, your children and your pets frequently for ticks and tick bites.
- Eliminate tick habitats from your properties by removing leaves, brush and debris.
- Keep areas under bird feeders clean.
- Refrain from feeding deer.