06/16/15 7:00pm
06/16/2015 7:00 PM

The Riverhead Town Board has scheduled a public hearing to discuss prohibiting elected officials from holding leadership positions in political parties. The hearing will be on July 7, and while the vote to schedule it was unanimous, two board members were critical of the proposal.

The Town Board also heard from Calverton residents who were opposed to the location of a proposed medical marijuana growing facility at Ivy Acres on Edwards Avenue. Supervisor Sean Walter, who opposes medical marijuana, said he’s spoken to two other medical marijuana companies that looking to build facilities at EPCAL, although he said he couldn’t remember the names of those applicants.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Board also approved a resolution to sell the historic — but dilapidated — East Lawn building on East Main Street to Isabelle and Mary Gonzalez. The buyers want to use half of the building for their office and the other half as a residence.   (more…)

06/16/15 12:00pm
Riverhead Republicans celebrate their victorious sweep Election night in downtown Riverhead in 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Riverhead Republicans celebrate their victorious sweep Election night in downtown Riverhead in 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Three weeks after Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilman Jim Wooten failed to get the Republican committee nomination for reelection, a proposal has resurfaced before the Town Board to ban all elected officials from serving on the executive committee of political parties.

That would mean that Riverhead Republican chairman Mason Haas, who is also an elected assessor, would have to give up one of those positions. (more…)

06/16/15 6:00am

In 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration pledged to not take negative action against East Hampton Town with regard to the enactment of noise restrictions at its airport.

Now, three years later, Congressman Lee Zeldin has taken steps to assure the agency keeps its word.

A funding bill passed June 9 by the House of Representatives includes an amendment written by Mr. Zeldin (R-Shirley) to ensure that the FAA does not use any new funds to take action against East Hampton Town following its recent efforts to restrict helicopter access.

(more…)

06/14/15 3:00pm
06/14/2015 3:00 PM
Builder Vincent DiCanio, right, explains his plans to the Calverton Civic Association as group president Rex Farr looks on

Developer Vincent DiCanio, right, presenting his proposal to the Calverton Civic Association on Wednesday as civic president Rex Farr holds up a rendering of the plan during the meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The developer involved in a lawsuit with Riverhead Town over the zoning of his Calverton property is seeking public input on a new proposal to build residential units instead of retail stores.

(more…)

06/10/15 11:49am
06/10/2015 11:49 AM
The Riverhead train station remains unoccupied. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead train station remains unoccupied. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A little less than a year ago, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced it had finally found a tenant for the long-vacant Riverhead train station, which was built 105 years ago and closed as a station in 1972 due to low ridership.

Islandwide Transportation, a Mastic cab company, had signed a 10-year lease last August to use the train station as a waiting room and depot.

Fast-forward to this year: The station is still empty and officials are talking about allowing the Guardian Angels, who began patrolling the Railroad Avenue area last week, to use the building.

The Angels, however, would have to wait until the situation with Islandwide is resolved, as the MTA is planning legal action against the cab company for back rent, MTA officials said.

“EMD Transportation, doing business as Islandwide, is delinquent on its rent and has been for some time,” MTA spokesman Sal Arena said by email.

“To the best of our knowledge, the cab company has never actually used the Riverhead Station space,” Mr. Arena said. “Efforts to locate the company and its principals have been unsuccessful. We are now ready to take legal action to regain control of the space. Any decision about future use of the station building will have to await the outcome of that litigation.

“Meanwhile,” he added, “we will be reaching out to update town officials and to discuss how the space might be used down the road.”

Officials did not say how much Islandwide owes in rent, but the agreement they signed specified rent in the amount of $19,000 for the first year of the lease. That rate was scheduled to rise gradually, reaching $24,790 by the 10th year.

Islandwide was also supposed to make improvements to the station at its own expense, and to keep the waiting room and bathrooms open for Long Island Rail Road customers during peak railroad hours. Mr. Arena said that while no work has been done on the station by Islandwide, that would not have precluded them from occupying the building.

Representatives of Islandwide did not respond to the News-Review’s request for comment.

Finding a tenant for the Riverhead train station has been a losing battle over the years.

Riverhead Town actually leased the building from the MTA for a dollar in 2002 after the MTA did about $1 million in renovations there.

Under that agreement, the town was supposed to keep it occupied by a nonprofit organization for the next decade, but was unable to find any takers, even when the building was offered rent-free.

The Riverhead Business Improvement District moved its office there in the late 1990s but departed after about a week because its lone employee didn’t feel safe there.

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa said during a recent tour of the area that he’d like to use the train station as a headquarters and training center, although town officials said at the time they were unsure of the status of the lease to Islandwide.

tgannon@timesreview.com

06/10/15 10:43am
An artist rendering of the main atrium at the Family Community Life Center's recreational and other facilities.

An artist rendering of the main atrium at the Family Community Life Center. (Credit: File image)

YMCA Long Island and Family Community Life Center — two white whales that have been on again, off again for the past couple of decades in town — are apparently in discussions to develop a partnership.

During the Riverhead school board meeting Tuesday, president and CEO of the Family Community Life Center Shirley Coverdale said the YMCA is “interested in partnering” with her group “in some form.”

She didn’t disclose any other details about the discussions, and declined further comment on Wednesday morning.

(more…)