The Results are in! BIRA Survey Reveals Unified Support for Critical Issues
The Block Island Residents Association (BIRA) distributed a survey in May 2023 to its 500 members, which yielded very strong participation from both year-round residents and seasonal homeowners. The age of respondents ranged from 41 to 94 with a mean age of 67.5 years.
Of the issues surveyed, those that received the most support from respondents based on a five-point scale are listed below. These issues are those with mean values on the five-point scale greater than or equal to 4.2 and that received support from more than 75% of respondents.
- Reducing the Deer Population (4.6; 91%)
- Increasing Moped Regulation (4.6; 90%)
- Preserving Iconic View Sheds (e.g., Rodman’s Hollow, Mohegan Bluffs, The Maze and Clay Head) (4.3; 81%)
- Increasing Town Enforcement of Existing Beach Ordinances (4.3; 81%)
- Increasing Affordable Rental Housing (4.2; 80%)
- Imposing a Higher Landing Fee to fund issues related to increased tourism (4.3; 80%)
- Shoreline Access (4.2; 80%)
- Easing Traffic Congestion (4.2; 77%)
BIRA will be focusing its efforts to support and facilitate a number of these critical issues going forward. The Board also hope to review these results in greater detail with the Town Council at an upcoming meeting.
ISSUES THAT RECEIVED GREATEST SUPPORT ON THE SURVEY
BIRA Community Service Award
BIRA is pleased to award Fisher Johnson its $1,000 BIRA Community Service Award for 2023. This award recognizes a Block Island School graduate who is continuing on to post-secondary education and who has made significant contributions to the Block Island community through their time, actions, talents, and dedication.
Fisher had this to say about his community service, “As I have lived out here year round since I was born, I am part of the tight knit community we love and share. I try to give back whenever I can, having helped out with the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree yearly for 10+ years, fundraising for our many school trips, supporting bake sales and other community events. I’ve committed time for carnivals for elementary/middle school, selling to go dinners at the late Bethany’s diner, and the soup and sandwiches fundraiser at Yellow Kittens, to name a few. This fundraising has helped to facilitate trips like Close Up in Washington DC, the “Wings” part of “Roots & Wings” to New York City and a sailing trip along the coast of Maine.”
He also devoted a good part of his senior year working with the Block Island Tourism Council, to create a webpage for the council highlighting sustainable tourism on the island. Fisher commented, “I love this project because it really allows me to show and broadcast my love for this island. Tourists flock to the island in tens of thousands daily, and if we can truly gain their support in staying sustainable and protecting our amazing island, I believe the island as a whole will flourish.” Congratulations, Fisher Johnston!
New EV Charging Station
The new Electric Vehicle Charging Station is up and running. The charger (installed in front of the Block Island Power offices) was made possible by private donations and support from BIRA and several other island organizations. While there have been a few technical challenges — to be expected with any new installation such as this — BIRA is proud to be a part of Block Island’s ongoing move toward renewable energy.
Stronger together on Block Island
Our numbers are growing! And your annual membership continues to be a stake in Block Island’s present and future. We truly need your support and welcome your participation.
If you’re not sure about your current status, drop us a line at BIRA02807@gmail.com and we will confirm if you’re up to date. This fall, we are taking an important step to upgrade our member management system which will streamline our membership process and improve communications greatly.