Town mulling lefthand turn ban onto Riverside Drive

12/04/2013 2:31 PM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Town leaders are considering asking planners to look at banning lefthand turns onto Riverside Drive.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Town leaders are considering asking planners to look at banning lefthand turns onto Riverside Drive.

Making a left turn onto Riverside Drive while heading west on East Main Street may soon be a thing of the past.

The Town Board will consider asking Nelson, Pope and Voorhis, the consulting firm undertaking the downtown Brownfields Opportunity Area study, to looking into the feasibility of a left turn ban at the intersection of Riverside Drive and East Main Street. “It’s insane that you can make a left turn onto Riverside Drive heading west because you sit on the railroad tracks while you’re waiting to make the left turn,” Supervisor Sean Walter said.

He said he’s seen people on the tracks suddenly speeding up when the railroad gates start coming down.

The town’s contract with Nelson, Pope and Voorhis came in at $462,930, which is less than the $567,000 the town is eligible for through the state BOA grant. The town also wants Nelson, Pope and Voorhis to look at the possibility of getting Second Street added to the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that already includes much of Main Street in downtown Riverhead.

The Town Board will need to make a change order to its contract with the firm to add these two items, or issues.

EPCAL ON RETAINER

Mr. Walter says he is working on an agreement with Insurance Auto Auctions, the same firm to which the town leased runways after Hurricane Sandy last year, when the company needed space to store thousands of hurricane-damaged cars.

The deal would give IAA first dibs at the Enterprise Park at Calverton’s runways should another storm hit.

The Illinois-based company has offered to pay the town $25,000 now for what’s being called an “option contract,” Mr. Walter said.

Should the company use the site for storage, it would still pay a per-day, per-acre price to rent the runways. IAA also would have to lease at least 10 acres.

Last year, the town made about $2 million leasing EPCAL runways and taxiways to IAA, which needed land to store flood-damaged cars that were being auctioned off to junk dealers and recyclers.

NEW BUILDING INSPECTOR

The Town Board on Tuesday hired Brad Hammond of Farmingville to be its new senior building inspector, filling a post that had been occupied by a part-time employee since Leroy Barnes retired from the same position in mid-2011.

Mr. Hammond worked for Huntington Town and was No. 1 on the county civil service list for senior building inspectors. His annual salary will be about $70,000, officials said. Mr. Barnes salary, when he retired, was $108,945.

Councilman John Dunleavy was the only board member to oppose the move, saying the salary given to Mr. Hammond was higher than the normal starting salary for that position. He also said a town resident should get the job.

The town also has a planning director, as well as a planning and building administrator, who oversees both departments.

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