BID to tackle downtown Riverhead graffiti problem

04/21/2011 4:11 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Pablo Peralta of Servpro of the North Fork, based in Riverside, cleans graffiti off the former Dionsaur building in downtown Riverhead Tuesday morning.

The Riverhead Business Improvement District this week began removing graffiti from the sides of downtown businesses before those businesses received fines from the town.

BID officials have been discussing various methods of removing graffiti, “but all of them require a letter from the property owner, which can take forever,” said BID president Ray Pickersgill. So they reasoned that since the business owners in downtown pay BID taxes, that “the BID’s money is their money.” “We want to do it now,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

The Town Code requires that owners of buildings defaced by graffiti remove it within 14 days of being notified by the town to do so, or they will face fines of up to $250.

Mr. Pickersgill said the owners of the downtown buildings from which they are removing graffiti are being saved from paying the fine.

“I’m sure they prefer this to a $250 fine,” he said.

The BID has hired Servpro of the North Fork, which is charging them only for materials and doing the labor for free, so that the total cost will be about $700, Mr. Pickersgill said. Once Servpro removes the graffiti from a building, if the paint is in bad shape, they repaint using a type of paint that can’t be graffitied over, Mr. Pickersgill said.

The Servpro franchise the BID is using is not the same one Riverhead Town hired to remove mold from Town Hall last year. Using that franchise was controversial because of alleged connections to the town supervisor’s office staff, he said.

The graffiti removal began on the former West Marine building, then moved to the former Dinosaur Museum building and will continue to the West Main Street laundromat, Mr. Pickersgill said. After that, it will move to buildings on the north side of Main Street.

The BID also is seeking bids on a camera surveillance system, to protect against future graffiti and crime. They plan to have a camera mounted on a pole above the restrooms behind the former Sweezy’s building, as well as on top of light poles along the waterfront. One system they looked at, recommended by Atlantis Marine World owner Jim Bissett, can store videos for 30 days, has infrared for night footage and can cover the Peconic River parking lot and Grangebel Park, all for about $34,000, Mr. Pickersgill said.

Comments

comments

7 Comment

  • It is very nice that they are maintaining the graveyard. RIP downtown.

  • Re: the camera surveillance system. Spying on Riverhead’s citizens is wrong. The police should just do their job instead of sitting in their cars drinking coffee and talking on their cell phones. I see no police presence downtown, especially in the winter. Instead, the town supervisor wants to spend our tax money on stupid things. If the police chief would just tell his officers to get out of their friggin cars, patrol the streets of downtown and get to know the people, maybe downtown would be a better place. Surveillance cameras are a poor excuse for doing a job that us citizen are paying dearly for. $34,000 can be better spent, I’m sure. Why not spend the $34k on fixing all the potholes and roads throughout town? Nah, that would make to much sense.

  • SORRY CARL BUT YOU ARE MISSINFORMED THE BID AND THE PARKING DISTRICT WILL BE DOING THE CAMERAS,THAT IS NOT RIVERHEAD RESIDENT TAXPAYER MONEY IT IS THE MONEY THAT THE BUSINESSES AND LANDLORDS PAY WHICH IS COLLECTED FOR US BY THE TOWN ON MAIN STREET.WE USE THIS MONEY TO DO IMPROVEMENTS AND AS LEVERAGE MONEY FOR GRANTS ON MAIN STREET.WRONG AGAIN ABOUT SPYING ON RESIDENTS,THEY WILL BE USED TO DETER CRIME AND TO HELP PROSECUTE PEOPLE THAT COMMIT CRIMES.AS FAR AS THE POLICE GO YOU ARE WRONG AGAIN,I HAVE A BUSINESS ON MAIN STREET AND I SEE THE POLICE PARK THEIR CARS AND WALK AROUND MAIN STREET ALL THE TIME.COMPARED TO OTHER TOWNS I THINK OURS IS RELATIVELY SAFE. I ALSO THINK IF WE HAD THEM SOONER CASA RICA WOULD HAVE BEEN GONE SOONER AND WE WOULD HAVE CAUGHT THE PEOPLE THAT DESTROYED THE 2800.00 A PIECE ELECTRIC AND WATER FIXTURES AT THE WATER FRONT

  • $34k? This can be done cheaper. To whom should an integrator submit a competing bid?

  • Mr, Pickersgill, $34k sounds a bit high for such an installation. When will open bidding begin and to whom should an integrator submit a competing bid?

  • we are doing an rfp then we will put it out for bid.you can call me at 208-8159 and i will put you on the mailing list thank you

  • Ray, I don’t give a damn who’s paying for the surveillance camera’s. The use of surveillance camera’s are un-American, troubling and out right wrong in a Democratic society. You’re doing what the Gestapo would be doing and telling us it’s for our own safety and benefit. You’re also setting a bad precedent within the town with backwards thinking.
    Video surveillance has not been proven effective. CCTV is susceptible to abuse. There are no limits or controls on cameras use.Video surveillance will have a chilling effect on public life.
    Its benefits — preventing at most a few street crimes, and probably none — are disproportionately small. How would you like a video surveillance on your street looking at your house? That’s where you’re heading with this.
    My taxes pay for police to do a job. “To Protect and Serve”. I suggest you tell them to do their job and WHY NOT?