Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilman Jodi Giglio debated at Thursday’s work session the merits of applying to bring a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control center to town land in Calverton.
Ms. Giglio suggested bringing the facility to the Enterprise Park at Calverton, while Mr. Walter favored keeping it at Islip/MacArthur so it doesn’t leave Long Island entirely.
The board eventually sided with Ms. Giglio.
The FAA is seeking to build a new facility that will replace the aging air traffic control facilities in Ronkonkoma and Westbury with one that would serve as a state-of-the-art regional air traffic control center.
The FAA wants to locate the regional facility within 150 miles of New York City, and while the Islip airport is one of the sites being considered.
“It’s perfect for EPCAL,” Councilman Jim Wooten said.
Mr. Walter said the Town Board should at least have Islip Supervisor Tom Croci come to the Riverhead board to explain the importance of the facility to his town.
“I’m not concerned about Islip, I’m concerned about Riverhead,” Councilman George Gabrielsen said.
“It can’t hurt,” Councilman John Dunleavy said, although he questioned why the town always waits to the last minute on applications like this.
Mr. Walter ultimately agreed and directed town Community Development Agency director Chris Kempner to prepare a proposal to bring the facility to EPCAL.
Also at the meeting, the board also did not give the go-ahead to Justin Purchasing’s plan to import shredded wood from Nassau County to its Sound Avenue farm to be turned into mulch, despite a favorable opinion from the town’s agricultural advisory committee.
Instead, the board now wants the county soil and water conservation board to determine whether the land can handle the volume of material the applicant seeks to bring in.
News-Review reporter Tim Gannon reported live from the meeting.
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