11/24/15 11:17pm
11/24/2015 11:17 PM

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Residents of the Flanders-Riverside area had planned for days to speak before the Southampton Town Board about the need for greater policing on their streets in the face of a recent crime wave.

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04/23/15 12:00pm
04/23/2015 12:00 PM
Renaissance Downtowns' plans to help revitalize Riverside are expected to be presented to the Southampton Town Board next Thursday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Renaissance Downtowns’ plans to help revitalize Riverside are expected to be presented to the Southampton Town Board next Thursday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

A year after Renaissance Downtowns signed on with Southampton Town to create a new zoning code aimed at revitalizing Riverside, the time is coming for the company to unveil its redevelopment plans.

The plans — expected to be unveiled next week — hinge on the economically distressed hamlet’s getting a new sewage treatment plant and landowners’ getting incentives to build up their lots in exchange for accepting tightened environmental restrictions.  (more…)

03/13/15 2:00pm
03/13/2015 2:00 PM
Sean McLean and Siris Barrios of Renaissance Downtowns discuss plans for revitalizing Riverside at Monday's Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Sean McLean and Siris Barrios of Renaissance Downtowns discuss plans for revitalizing Riverside at Monday’s Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A private developer hired more than a year ago to help revitalize a section of Riverside has roughly a month left to deliver a final “action plan” to Southampton Town.

And while many of that plan’s details remain to be seen, the company announced Monday that it hopes help to spur development on many of the area’s blighted parcels through a simple exchange: more uses will be allowed on-site in exchange for more jobs for locals.  (more…)

09/10/14 8:00am
09/10/2014 8:00 AM
Riverside Rediscovered's new community liaison Siris Barrios, right, and Sean McLean of Renaissance Downtowns discussed plans to revitalize Riverside at Monday's meeting of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, where residents said they'd like to see a grocery store in the area. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverside Rediscovered’s new community liaison Siris Barrios, right, and Sean McLean of Renaissance Downtowns discussed plans to revitalize Riverside at Monday’s meeting of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, where residents said they’d like to see a grocery store in the area. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

For years, people in Flanders and Riverside have tried to get a supermarket or grocery store to come to the area, with no success.

So, improve the neighborhood, and a grocery store will come.

That’s what the company hired to redevelop the blight-ridden hamlet of Riverside is hoping will happen.  (more…)

02/11/14 3:00pm
02/11/2014 3:00 PM
Glynis Berry of Peconic Green Growth discussed the potential for failing septic systems in waterfront communities like Flanders and Riverside at Monday's FRNCA meeting. (TIm Gannon photo)

Glynis Berry of Peconic Green Growth discussed the potential for failing septic systems in waterfront communities like Flanders and Riverside at Monday’s FRNCA meeting. (TIm Gannon photo)

Aging cesspools and septic systems in waterfront communities like Flanders and Riverside are likely to fail in the future and could affect water quality, the executive director of Peconic Green Growth told the Flanders, Riverside and Northside Community Association Monday night. (more…)

02/11/14 11:17am

Refuse in woods along Oak Avenue in Flanders from 2012. Civic leaders say all the open space and parkland in the tri-hamlet area make it easy for people to dump. (Tim Gannon file photo)

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association adopted a resolution Monday asking Southampton Town to create a garbage district for its three hamlets. (more…)

01/02/14 9:00am
01/02/2014 9:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Flanders Riverside & Northampton Community Association president Vince Taldone with his dog Champ in Riverhead in 2012.

Back in 2011, the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association needed a new leader, as its president then was planning to run for Southampton Town Board.

The only person willing to take the job at the time was Vince Taldone, a Riverhead Town resident who owned property in Flanders but didn’t live there; thus, he could not serve as the group’s president. The organization then voted to change its own bylaws so Mr. Taldone could take the helm at FRNCA.

Two years later, Mr. Taldone, who was FRNCA’s vice president in 2012, is the group’s president once again, and is heavily involved in efforts to revitalize the hamlet of Riverside, which for many years has been plagued by crime and blight, high tax rates and a lack of commercial activity.

A master developer has now been hired by Southampton Town with the goal of bringing commercial development to the area. A commercial sewer district study has been completed by Suffolk County and county and town officials hope to run sewers through the area, allowing the type of development that had not been possible previously due to the area’s high water table.

Then there’s the grant money. Just last month it was announced that town received a state grant to plan the construction of a footbridge over the Peconic River from Riverside into Riverhead. This came on the heels of a county grant being used to create a walking trail through county parkland leading to the river.

Behind all of this is Mr. Taldone, who, unlike many of the elected officials who have worked in this recent push to help Riverside, is doing his part solely as a volunteer.

For this reason and more, Mr. Taldone is the News-Review’s Civic Person of the Year for 2013.

“Vince has done a lot of the legwork” on the pedestrian bridge proposal, said South Fork county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who has worked with Mr. Taldone on many of the ongoing plans for Riverside. “He deserves a lot of credit. He’s not getting paid for any of it, and he’s doing a lot of work.”

Mr. Taldone is retired from a career in New York City government, where he served primarily in program and land use planning positions within the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

And his volunteer work isn’t limited to Riverside.

Since retiring, he’s volunteered on Riverhead Town’s Landmark Preservation Commission, the town’s handicapped advisory board and the board of directors of Riverhead Townscape, a nonprofit that works on local beautification projects.

Mr. Taldone also is a longtime volunteer for 5 Town Rural Transit, which seeks to improve public transportation on the East End, has volunteered at the Riverhead Town Animal Shelter and he is a former member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission.

And somehow he does all this with a vision impairment that prevents him from driving a car.

Richard Naso, chairman of Southampton Town’s Citizen Advisory Committee for Flanders, Riverside and Northampton, was the person who suggested Mr. Taldone become FRNCA’s president in 2011. Earlier this year, Mr. Naso also suggested informally to a News-Review reporter that Mr. Taldone be nominated for a Person of the Year award.

“Because of his experience as a planner in New York City, he has the ability to get things moving,” Mr. Naso said. “Most of us don’t have that experience or expertise.”

He said Mr. Taldone has experience in applying for grant money and also was able to negotiate with both Southampton and Riverhead town officials on the footbridge proposal, which needs approval from both municipalities.

“He was able to get so much going in such a short period of time,” Mr. Naso said.

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