02/26/14 11:12am
02/26/2014 11:12 AM
Supervisor Sean Walter at Tuesday night's State of the Town address.

Supervisor Sean Walter at Tuesday night’s State of the Town address.

Supervisor Sean Walter again hinted at big things to come in downtown Riverhead in his annual State of the Town speech on Monday.

The supervisor, breaking from his written speech, told the tri-club meeting of the Riverhead Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, “We are not ready to announce plans today, but there are actions being taken right now behind the scenes, to fill the remaining vacancies downtown. We believe those actions are going to bear fruit.”  (more…)

02/24/14 7:21pm
02/24/2014 7:21 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Undeveloped surrounds the already-developed industrial core at the 2,900-acre EPCAL property.

Riverhead Town will likely bond infrastructure costs at  EPCAL, which could be more than $20 million. (File photo by Barbaraellen Koch)

Riverhead Town has maintained its AA- rating from Standard and Poor’s for the ninth consecutive year, according to a press release issued Monday by Supervisor Sean Walter.

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02/18/14 10:16am
02/18/2014 10:16 AM

Suffolk County Legislature, Sean Walter, Ed Romaine

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter will deliver his 2014 State of the Town address to a special joint meeting of the Riverhead Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs on Tuesday, Feb. 25 in the Sea Star Ballroom at the L.I. Aquarium and Exhibition Center in downtown Riverhead.

The special tri-club meeting is hosted this year by the Rotary Club of Riverhead. The dinner meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person. A sit-down dinner will be served. Pay at the door by cash or check payable to Rotary Club of Riverhead, but advance reservations are required.

For more information about reservations for the dinner, visit the Riverhead Rotary website, RiverheadRotary.org and see “Club Events” in the right-hand column.

02/03/14 5:59am
02/03/2014 5:59 AM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO |

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Councilman George Gabrielsen, right, giving a proclamation to New-Review reporter Tim Gannon declaring Jan. 23, 2014, “Tim Gannon Day” in Riverhead Town.

If you’ve ever read the News-Review, you’ve probably seen Tim Gannon’s byline.

Tim has been a reporter for the paper since 1996, covering everything from Town Hall and police news to 100th birthday parties and school board meetings.

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01/20/14 7:00am
01/20/2014 7:00 AM

Riverhead Town officials are hoping to get more money out of the leases the town has with cellphone companies with antennas on top of water towers.

A company called Bench Strength Partners says it can examine lease agreements the town has to determine if the town should be making more from them.

According to Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, every time a cell company upgrades its equipment on a town facility, it is supposed to notify the town, and the town, according to its contracts, should be paid more.

 “We are not getting our fair share of the fees for these devices,” Ms. Giglio said at a work session earlier this month, where the issue was discussed.

The town’s 2014 budget anticipates $655,000 in revenue from leases on town water towers.

Bench Strength Partners, which contributed to Ms. Giglio’s re-election campaign last year, only gets paid only if it generates more money for the town, according to deputy town attorney Ann Marie Prudenti.

If Bench Strength negotiates up to 20 percent more than $655,000, the town doesn’t have to pay anything. If the town makes between 20 and 30 percent more, BSP gets 15 percent of the increase. If the town makes between 30 and 40 percent more, BSP gets 20 percent of the increase. If the town makes 40 to 50 percent more, BSP gets 25 percent of that, and if the town makes 50 percent more or higher, BSP gets 30 percent, according to Ms. Prudenti.

Any money the town makes as a result of contracting with Bench Strength would go to the water district, which issues the leases to cellphone companies, according to Supervisor Sean Walter. However, since the water district is in debt to the general fund, the town general fund will benefit, according to the supervisor.

tgannon@timesreview

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01/01/14 3:29pm
01/01/2014 3:29 PM
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Sean Walter says some words at the town's inauguration ceremonies Wednesday at Pulaski Street School.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Sean Walter says some words at the town’s inauguration ceremonies Wednesday at Pulaski Street School.

Riverhead Town officials re-elected in November were sworn in for their new terms Wednesday in a New Year’s Day inauguration ceremony at the Pulaski Street School.

Supervisor Sean Walter, council members Jodi Giglio and John Dunleavy, Highway Superintendent George Woodson and Assessor Laverne Tennenburg, all incumbents, all took their oath of office, assisted by family members.

The only new face at Wednesday’s ceremony was Republican Anthony Palumbo, who was elected to fill a vacancy in the North Fork state Assembly position that was vacated by the resignation of former assemblyman Dan Losquadro.

Mr. Walter once again said the current Town Board has made progress in reviving downtown and the Enterprise Park at Calverton, and has improved the town’s financial condition since taking over in 2010.

He said there is a great anticipation for what will happen in the future, and hinted that some big projects may be coming to EPCAL.

“Some of things people are looking to do at EPCAL, we can’t even talk about them because they are so large” and the applicants have asked that they not be made public, Mr. Walter said.

Mr. Dunleavy noted that East End Arts was unable to do its annual window decorating contest in the vacant stores in downtown Riverhead this year because there aren’t enough empty stores.

He also said Route 58 has been a big tax generator and that without some of the big retail centers there, people’s taxes would be much higher.

Mr. Dunleavy said the new Walmart on western Route 58 is scheduled to open on Jan. 15 and the new Costco is expected to open in April.

After that, he said, there won’t be many large tracts left on Route 58 that can be developed.

tgannon@timesreview.com