Walter: Annual speech will again focus on EPCAL, downtown and finances

04/08/2013 5:00 PM |
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Sean Walter delivering his 'State of the Town' address in March.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Sean Walter delivers a ‘State of the Town’ address in March 2012.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter will be making his fourth annual “State of the Town” address Wednesday night at the Eagle’s Landing at Calverton Links restaurant in Calverton.

Mr. Walter said downtown, the Enterprise Park at Calverton and the town finances will once again be the three big items of his speech.

“The heavy lifting still has to be done,” he said in an interview Monday.

The event is hosted by the Riverhead Tri-Club, which comprises Riverhead Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs and has been hosting the annual State of the Town speech for Riverhead’s supervisors for many years.

The speech event starts at 6:30 p.m. at Eagle’s Landing, the restaurant at the Calverton Links golf course on Edwards Avenue.

The cost to attend is $30 per person, and all members of the public are invited.

In his first previous speeches, Mr. Walter put an emphasis on reviving downtown Riverhead, getting the Enterprise Park at Calverton subdivided so town property there can be sold, and repairing the town’s finances, which he has said were in big trouble when he took office due to costs associated with the landfill and the use of one-shot revenues to offset tax increases.

And those three issues will be highlighted in this year’s speech as well, Mr. Walter said.

“We’ve put all the chess pieces in the right places, but now we have to do the heavy lifting of making these plans a reality,” Mr. Walter said Monday.

The EPCAL subdivision is being worked on by the town and a planning firm and has been an ongoing issue this year, as disagreements between the town and the state Department of Environmental Conservation persisted.

The town is also hoping for state legislation to create an EPCAL commission to fast track development proposals there.

Downtown has seen a number of new housing proposals either surface or near completion, and the Suffolk Theatre has finally reopened on East Main Street, as have some smaller stores, Mr. Walter said.

The town’s finances, meanwhile, still are plagued by the landfill debt and the one-shot revenues, although Mr. Walter has said that the town has cut into the deficit since 2010, when he took office.

“All the things that are moving forward, now we have to keep them moving forward so they become a reality,” he said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

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