07/29/15 5:28pm
07/29/2015 5:28 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The 'tin man' style water tower on Pulaski Street in Riverhead.

Riverhead Town is asking residents to conserve water and limit lawn irrigation as a drought that has gripped Long Island and stressed the town’s water district wells enters its third month.

Riverhead Water District Superintendent Mark Conklin said “hot dry weather has caused an unprecedented amount of lawn irrigation to occur and we need to be mindful of our water reserves since these weather conditions increase the potential for fires. It really is a matter of public safety to limit water usage to be sure we can meet the demand in times of unforeseen emergencies.”

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Kacam, Long Island and southeastern Connecticut have been in a “moderate drought” since the end of April.

Supervisor Sean Walter said Riverhead’s large commercial properties irrigate their lawns in the early morning, taxing the system most between 2 and 6 a.m. Mr. Walter said the district can pump as much as 24 million gallons of water each day, enough to nearly drain the town’s water tanks.

“I believe it is only common sense that we ask our citizens and businesses to limit watering their lawns and to curb water use in general,” Mr. Walter said in a statement.

Mr. Walter advised residents to set their automatic sprinklers to go off at night before midnight, when the system isn’t overloaded.

Mr. Walter said a town water plant’s motors failed Tuesday night due to “power fluctuations,” shutting down two water wells around 5 p.m., Mr. Walter said. But by 11 p.m., the wells were back online thanks to Mr. Conklin and his water district staff.

“Mark Conklin is a genius,” Mr. Walter said.


Photo: The town’s water tower on Pulaski Street (Credit: Tim Gannon, file)

Featured Story
07/27/15 3:13pm
07/27/2015 3:13 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead police speaking to a Hispanic bicyclist on West Main Street in downtown Riverhead in 2009.

Members of the Riverhead Town Anti-Bias Task Force say recent comments made by some members of the Town Board may “undermine the work that we’re doing to try to bring the community together.”

But some of those members, including the liaison to that committee, stand by their statements, noting that they don’t want the town to be seen as a haven for anyone who comes into the country illegally. READ

Featured Story
07/24/15 6:00am
07/24/2015 6:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOThe Riverhead Republicans celebrate their victorious sweep Tuesday nignt (from left) chairman Mason Haas, Jodi Giglio, Sean Walter and John Dunleavy.

Six Riverhead Republican committee members who supported incumbent Supervisor Sean Walter in the May 26 nominating convention have since been removed from the committee, a move some see as retribution from party chairman Mason Haas, who supported Councilwoman Jodi Giglio in the convention. READ

07/23/15 5:00am
PSEG-LI is considering building a new substation at EPCAL. Pictured is the existing Riverhead substation off West Main St. File photo by Tim Gannon

PSEG-LI is considering building a new substation at EPCAL. Pictured is the existing Riverhead substation off West Main St. File photo by Tim Gannon

The Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday unanimously authorized an agreement to allow PSEG-Long Island to do soil tests on a section of the town-owned Enterprise Park at Calverton.

PSEG is considering building a power substation at that locatio.

The Long Island Power Authority, which contracts with PSEG to run its transmission system, selected several solar energy proposals to negotiate with last December including one of a 90-acre proposed “energy park” at EPCAL, and four others on private property in Calverton.

But with two other private solar energy projects already under construction in EPCAL, a shortage existed in substations to take the energy generated by the proposed new solar plants, which is why the EPCAL site is being considered.

The five proposed solar energy projects would generate 51.4 mW, officials say.

Negotiations between the power companies proposing the solar projects and LIPA are still ongoing, according to Jeffrey Weir, a spokesperson for PSEG.

The power plant proposed for the town’s energy park at EPCAL would be run by Hecate Energy, and officials are hoping the revenue generated by it will help offset continuing budget deficits the town has.

Councilman George Gabrielsen, who first proposed the energy park, says the deal between the town and Hecate awaits the completion of the environmental impact study on the town’s proposed subdivision of its land at EPCAL.


07/21/15 10:22pm
07/21/2015 10:22 PM
Riverhead Republicans celebrate their victorious sweep Election night in downtown Riverhead in 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Riverhead Republican leader Mason Haas, left, and Supervisor Sean Walter, top, in happier times,  celebrating a Republican sweep Election night  in 2013. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

Riverhead Republican leader Mason Haas will be required to step down from either his position as party chair or his position as an elected assessor under an ethics code revision approved by the Riverhead Town Board in a split vote Tuesday. READ