The Riverhead Town Board voted 3-2 to authorize the sale of the Second Street firehouse to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi for up to $500,000 at its work session on Thursday.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio and Councilman John Dunleavy opposed the measure. They argued the building should be appraised first. The last appraisal was in 2009. They also said the building and its parking lot (which is not being sold at this time) were worth $1.8 million, although that took into account different zoning for the property.
Ms. Giglio said she does support selling the building. She had previously suggested moving Town Hall to the firehouse, but an estimate to study that option came in at $175,000.
Mr. Castaldi had previously sought to buy the building earlier this year, but three board members backed out of that deal when they found out how much it would cost to transform the Route 58 armory into a police and justice court headquarters, while moving Town Hall to the firehouse and moving the court to the current Town Hall.
The board also voted 3-2 in favor of seeking state grants for a proposed pedestrian bridge over the Peconic River from the downtown parking lot to county parkland in Riverside in Southampton Town.
Supervisor Sean Walter opposed the measure because he feels boats with fly bridges might not fit under it, while Councilman George Gabrielsen opposed it because he feels it will end up costing far more than the $1.2 million current estimate.
Southampton Town officially will seek the state grants. The town got $87,000 in state grants to design the project last year and it is now seeking grants to offset construction costs. The town just this week selected a company to design the bridge.
To read more about what was discussed at Thurday’s work session, click below to see a recap of reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting: