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Supervisor anticipates contract for EPCAL sale will be sent to Luminati soon

05/20/2017 5:55 AM |

Riverhead Town has yet to send Luminati Aerospace a contract to sell the company town-owned land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, Supervisor Sean Walter said at Wednesday’s Town Board meeting.

His comment came in response to questions from Democrat Laura Jens-Smith on the status of the $40 million deal. She’s seeking to run against Mr. Walter, the Republican nominee, this fall.

When Ms. Jens-Smith said she believed the contract with Luminati was due May 11, Mr. Walter said the town and Luminati have 30 days to agree on a contract only after it’s sent. Since that hasn’t happened yet, Mr. Walter said there is no 30-day deadline currently.

“You can’t negotiate a contract if it hasn’t been sent,” Mr. Walter said.

The town also must hold a public hearing to determine if Luminati has the finances and ability to carry out their plans for the site before the contract can be signed.

Mr. Walter added he anticipates the contract will be sent to Luminati within the next few days.

The delay in sending Luminati the contract was due to the fact that officials wanted to hire another law firm to assist in vetting Luminati.

During the meeting, the Town Board voted 4-1 in favor of hiring the law firm Lamb & Barnosky LLC for $290 per hour to do so. Councilman John Dunleavy voted no and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio was absent.

In addition, the board voted in favor of hiring the law firm Smith, Finkelstein, Lundberg, Isler & Yakaboski LLP to also work on the Luminati contract at $290 per hour.

Luminati, which plans to build unmanned aviation vehicles at EPCAL, must undergo a “qualified and eligible sponsor” hearing before purchasing the land to prove it has the finances and wherewithal to follow through with their plans for the property.

To date, the client that Luminati has been working for has been kept secret through a confidentiality clause. However, Mr. Walter said that arrangement will end soon. The supervisor is the only board member who has been told the identity of that client, officials say.

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File photo credit: Katharine Schroeder

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