12/05/13 3:52pm
12/05/2013 3:52 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The landmark Big Duck monument in Flanders.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The landmark Big Duck monument in Flanders.

It’s that time of year, again: Time to deck the Duck!

The annual Big Duck Holiday Lighting Ceremony will take place tonight, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. at the landmark Big Duck on Road in Flanders.

Check back for photos from the event.

The flipping of the switch, illuminating the Big Duck in Christmas lights, will also be accompanied by a visit from Santa Claus, courtesy of the Flanders Fire Department, as well as sing-along led by the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir and a visit from Quackerjack, the Mascot from the Independent League champion Long Island Ducks.

That’s according to Richard Wolfe, the assistant director of historic services for the county parks department, which is sponsoring the event along with Southampton Town’s parks and recreation department.

The lighting event is usually held on a Wednesday night, but was moved to Thursday this year due to a conflict in the Middle School choir’s schedule, Mr. Wolfe said.

“We really wanted them to be there, so we had to switch it,” he said.

Attendees will also get to see the Duck from the inside, as the Big Duck Store will be open during the ceremony.

Parking will be available on the  Flanders Mens Club property, which is adjacent to the Big Duck.

tgannon@timesreview.com

11/14/13 9:00am
11/14/2013 9:00 AM
JOSEPH PINCIARO PHOTO | Shirley Coverdale, right, speaks at a recent Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association meeting.

JOSEPH PINCIARO PHOTO | Shirley Coverdale, right, speaks at a recent Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association meeting.

How can a group of people organize to achieve a common goal?

That’s a question facing the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association — one that was addressed at the group’s monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Though it appears that the area will soon be represented on the Town Board for the first time in recent memory – Northampton resident Brad Bender held a 143-vote lead after Election Day, with nearly 900 absentee ballots to be counted – declining membership in its civic group remains a long-term issue, especially with projects of community concern looming on the horizon.

“The numbers continue to decline, but it still is a good-sized membership of paying community members,” said FRNCA president Vince Taldone. “To me, that alone wouldn’t upset me. My main concern is that people are not participating in the discussion about the community they live in.”

Mr. Taldone said Wednesday that over the past three years, membership in FRNCA — which asks a $20 annual fee of its members — has dropped from 130, to 115, to 90.

Tuesday night’s discussion centered on turning those numbers around.

Shirley Coverdale, who sits on the board of Long Island Organizing Network and was recently named a co-chair of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee’s newly formed Black and Hispanic Democratic Committee, also shared her experience in community organizing.

Ms. Coverdale has most recently been at Riverhead Town Hall to support a special zone that would permit construction of the Family Community Life Center – a multi-purpose facility proposed for land owned by First Baptist Church, where her husband, the Rev. Charles Coverdale, has been pastor for over 30 years. She told FRNCA members that over the past 20-plus years, as she and others have attempted to bring that project to fruition, it’s drawn over $1 million in donations.

“A funny thing happens when you organize people,” she said. “Money follows.”

Ms. Coverdale also shared an anecdote about 15 homeowners affected by torrential flooding that ruined homes in the Horton Avenue area in the spring of 2010.

Through a series of one-on-one face-to-face meetings, she said, personal connections formed to strengthen a core group of people, widen their reach and eventually attract $3.5 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to compensate people whose homes were destroyed — quite a feat for such a small group, she noted.

In recent years, FRNCA leaders have helped draw resources to the area south of the Peconic River, including a Brownfields Opportunities Area grant of nearly $240,000 intended to spur revitalization in the Riverside area, which has 15 dormant, contaminated properties. Meanwhile sewer and traffic studies have also been in the works there, though Mr. Taldone said Tuesday that study after study could be part of the reason it’s hard to draw people to FRNCA meetings.

“Too many promises, too many studies for years and years,” Mr. Taldone said. “They lose faith. When I go to them, and say ‘This is amazing, and it’s happening now,’ they don’t even believe me.”

Northampton resident Chris Sheldon said that a decade ago, when Southampton Town was conducting a Riverside Revitalization Study, “we could have filled Phillips Avenue school.”

Moving forward, Mr. Sheldon suggested “finding new blood” and engaging those members of the community face-to-face.

Mr. Bender pointed to his Southampton Town Board campaign, noting that knocking on 2,000 doors and hearing people out in-person made the difference in what looks like an election victory

Speaking to an audience of no more than a dozen people, FRNCA leaders said Tuesday they’ll spend some of the organization’s limited funds on colored palm cards to have on hand when they speak to their neighbors in the future. And as the brownfields grant and other projects continue, they hope to see more locals come out and participate in the future of their community — at public meetings about the actual projects and at monthly FRNCA meetings.

“When the bulldozer is taking down buildings, maybe then people will believe what’s happening,” Mr. Taldone said. “But, by then, everything will be decided.”

10/30/13 11:03am
10/30/2013 11:03 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO

The Riverhead School District tax rate will jump by 7.7 percent next year for property owners in the Southampton Town portion of the district, which includes Flanders, Riverside, Northampton and Red Creek, despite the fact that the districtwide school tax levy increased by 3.8 percent, according to Southampton Town Tax Receiver Theresa Kiernan, who discussed the issue at last Thursday’s Southampton Town Board work session.

The school tax rate has seen some large swings between the Riverhead and Southampton towns in recent years, Between 2008 and 2010, the Southampton side saw increases of 22, 14 and 14 percent. During the same period, the rate on the Riverhead side went down one year and increased by 1 percent and 2 percent in the other two years.

Riverhead Town comprises about 81 percent of the school district, Southampton Town 17 percent and Brookhaven Town 2 percent.

The areas hit by these increases also are considered low-income areas by the U.S. census.

The school district sets the overall tax levy, but has no say in how that money is divvied up among the three towns. The school tax increase in any one of the towns also is not governed by the state’s 2 percent tax cap, officials said.

In the 2013 tax bills, which went out last December, and the 2013 tax rates, the increases on both sides of the district were similar.

For 2014, the overall school district tax levy — the total amount of taxes collected from district property owners in Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven — will increase by 3.8 percent. The Southampton Town segment will see an increase of 5.4 percent, while the increase for the Riverhead Town portion will rise by 3.6 percent. Residents living in Brookhaven piece of the Riverhead School District will get a tax levy increase of 3.1 percent.

Ms. Kiernan said Southampton has computed a final tax rate for property owners in the Riverhead school district of $14.13 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from the current rate of $13.11 per $1.000. For someone with property assessed at $200,000 in the Southampton Town part of the district, that equates to $204 more in school taxes next year.

“Somehow, the burden shifts onto us,” she said.

Riverhead Town has not formally set the school tax rates in its part of the district, but it is expected to be up by about 3.3 percent, according to town finance administrator Bill Rothaar.

The tax shift toward the Southampton side of the district comes despite the fact that Southampton Town is applying $1.9 million in Community Preservation Fund payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOT payments, to the school district, which qualified for that aid because a large percent of the district in Southampton is off the tax rolls as preserved open space and parkland.

Southampton applied $1.7 million in CPF PILOT money in 2013, Ms. Kiernan said.

“If it wasn’t for the CPF, the increase would be off the charts,” Ms. Kiernan said in an interview.

The land values in this part of the town have gone down this year, which is why the tax rate increase is more than the tax levy increase, Ms. Kiernan said.

Some residents in the Southampton Town portion of the district may not end up paying more in taxes if their assessed value decreased to the point where the higher tax rate was offset, officials said.

The school district tax levy is divvied up between the three towns based on the assessed value of each portion of the district, as determined by the state equalization rate, which attempts to measure at what percentage of market value a town assesses property.

Southampton Town, which reassesses its properties annually, has an equalization rate of 100 percent, which means the state feels the town’s assessments are at market value.

Riverhead Town, on the other hand, has not done a reassessment since 1980, so its equalization rate is at 15.98 percent. Brookhaven Town’s equalization rate is 0.95 percent.

During last week’s work session, one Southampton Town Board member questioned last week whether annual reassessment was worth the effort.

“Riverhead still doesn’t do the 100 percent assessments,” Southampton Councilwoman Bridget Fleming said. “We keep being told that because we’re doing 100 percent, we are going to be treated fairly, but we see, year after year, that the folks who are not doing the 100 percent are not carrying the same burden as we are.”

“I’m not sure you can make that blanket statement,” Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst responded.

She said overall property values in Southampton are higher than in Riverhead, which affects the equalization rate, and thus the tax rates shift.

tgannon@timesreview.com

09/20/13 10:00am
09/20/2013 10:00 AM

BARBARALLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Rose Sanders of Jamesport picks up leaves in front of her home. In Southampton Town, there’s a debate now over whether the biodegradable paper bags should be used.

Leaves. Should they be bagged or left loose on the curb for the town to pick up?

That’s a debate the two candidates for Southampton Town highway superintendent got into at a recent meeting of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association.

Last year, Southampton Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor announced that residents would be required to put their leaves in biodegradable paper bags and leave them on the curb for the town to pick up. In years past, Southampton Town residents were allowed to dump loose leaves curbside for town pickup.

Mr. Gregor’s plan never came to fruition because of Hurricane Sandy, which, in addition to leaves, left a lot of other debris on town roadways.

Mr. Gregor, who is the Democratic Party candidate for re-election, said he will again require residents to use biodegradable paper bags for their leaves, and not allow them to put loose leaves curbside — barring any major storms.

His Republican opponent in this year’s elections, David Betts, feels differently.

“My suggestion would be to go back to the way it was and get the leaves picked up,” Mr. Betts said at the civic meeting at the Flanders Community Center. He also suggested the town consider contracting with a private company to pick the leaves up, “so we can get them done quickly.”

Mr. Gregor said he had tried to contract out the leaf pickup, but ran into opposition from the Southampton Town Board.

He said he had sought bids from private companies to do the work two years ago, but the Town Board refused to award a contract even though the lowest bid was much lower than what it costs the town to do the work. He also said the Town Board wouldn’t let him hire part-time employees, because the employee contract limits the number of part-timers the highway department can hire to three, and the board would not amend the contract.

“In the past, the leaves stay on the road, they get plowed all over the place,” Mr. Gregor said, adding that the leaves don’t fall until Thanksgiving and need to be picked up before the end of the year because that’s usually when the first snow falls.

“So without extra help, I needed to come up with something to do it in five weeks.”

The program he came up with involves the use of paper bags, as well as discontinuing loose-leaf pickup. Mr. Gregor said his department is giving away free biodegradable paper bags this year.

The program will also allow landscapers to dispose of leaves at the town transfer stations if they present a voucher from the property owner whose leaves they are dumping, Mr. Gregor said. In addition, if someone is 73 years old or older, or if they have a disability that prevents them from bagging the leaves, the town will allow them to place the loose leaves at the curb.

Mr. Gregor says the biggest cost in leaf disposal comes from the town, which makes its own highway department pay to dispose of leaves at the town’s landfill.

Mr. Betts currently heads the Southampton Town Code Enforcement department and is a retired Southampton Village police lieutenant, and former union president.

In making his overall pitch to civic members in Flanders, Mr. Betts touted his skills as an administrator who has been on both the management and labor side of union contract negotiations. He also said he has experience in obtaining grants.

“The job is an administrator, that’s what you need,” he said. “I’ve been doing that for 30 years.”

Mr. Gregor argued that Mr. Betts’ experience is not relevant to the highway superintendent job.

tgannon@timesreview.com

08/01/13 3:35pm
08/01/2013 3:35 PM
Peconic footbrige

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne Holst (center) and town council members discussing plans for a footbridge over the Peconic.

Questions over who would be responsible for cleaning and maintaining a footbridge proposed to span the Peconic River, as well as the size and design of a the project, are being put on hold — for now.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

Southampton Town officials are instead focusing on getting a state grant application filed before the deadline in two weeks.

During a Southampton Town Board work session Thursday morning, board members said they supported the bridge, which would connect county-owned parkland in Riverside to downtown Riverhead, adding that the bridge might help jump-start revitalization efforts for Riverside.

“Action on the part of the municipality is a signal to private industry that this is a place that’s going to get more and more attention,” said Councilwoman Bridget Flemming, “But someone has to take that first step over the bridge, so to speak.”

The support came a day after the Suffolk County Legislature voted unanimously in support of the grant application.

Vince Taldone, president of the Flanders Riverside Northampton Community Association, told Town Board members that there would be several months to iron out the details of the bridge and pitch the idea to residents before any grant money would be accepted.

The bridge is expected to cost $1.145 million, but the state grant being pursued would allow Suffolk County’s purchase of land in Riverside in 2011 to be used as the municipality’s matching portion of the grant, meaning the construction of the bridge would be fully covered by the grant.

“[We would pay] zip for the bridge itself,” Mr. Taldone said.

But if the town missed the deadline, the county’s contribution wouldn’t count towards the grant next year.

“The key here,and the rush, is that three year window in which that money counts,” Mr. Taldone said.

Riverhead and Southampton towns would be responsible for paying to upkeep the bridge, as well as properly patrolling the area, though the agreement over which town would do what would be discussed after the application was filed.

Councilman Christopher Nuzzi said he had concerns over approving the project before the design was finalized, but Mr. Taldone said a portion of the $1.145 million cost of the bridge is set aside for engineering and design.

The town would only need to apply using the concept of a footbridge, he said; the specifics of the type of bridge could be settled and discussed by the community before the grant is accepted.

Mr. Taldone said the bridge would need to be at least 24 feet above the median high tide line — the same height as the County Road 105 bridge — to allow boats to enter the Riverhead town docks.

The bridge would connect to a 5-foot-wide trail Southampton Town plans to create. The trail would start on Route 24 and lead to the river.

Mr. Taldone said that while the bridge would create a “walkable community” connecting Riverhead to downtown Riverside, the town would need to ensure that criminal elements stay out of the area.

FRNCA representatives will go to the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce next week to pitch the footbridge, and then speak before the Riverhead Town Board to get that board’s approval for the grant application.

psquire@timesreview.com

07/31/13 5:00pm
07/31/2013 5:00 PM
JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

JAY SCHNEIDERMAN COURTESY RENDERING | The footbridge that would cross the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

The Suffolk County Legislature voiced its support Tuesday of Southampton Town’s application for state funding to build a pedestrian footbridge that would span the Peconic River and connect Riverside to downtown Riverhead.

The resolution, which was approved 16-0, allows the recently acquired county parkland in Riverside to be used as the southern terminus for the proposed bridge, and authorizes the county to take whatever steps are needed to facilitate the bridge plan.

The northern part of the proposed bridge would begin near the Long Island Aquarium on the Riverhead Town side of the river, officials said.

Approvals from Southampton and Riverhead towns would ultimately be needed as well.

Southampton Town also has applied for a $50,000 county grant to make a walking trail from Flanders Road to the river, at a point where the bridge would begin.

The estimated cost of the bridge is $1.145 million, according to county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who sponsored the resolution. The state grant being sought allows the cost of land acquisition — which was already paid to the former property owner — to be used as a matching portion of the grant, so long as it was purchased in the past three years.

In this case, the $2.4 million land acquisition occurred in September of 2011, which puts it within that three-year window, and means that the entire $1.145 million cost of the bridge could be funded by the state grant if it is awarded for the project, Mr. Schneiderman said in an interview.

“It wouldn’t cost the county or the towns of Southampton or Riverhead anything,” he said.

The 14-acre parkland in question had been owned by Dede Gotthelf of Southampton, who had planned to built a hotel there, but her proposed plans got bogged down by environmental concerns and she sold the property to Suffolk.

The grant being sought has an Aug. 12 deadline for submission, so Mr. Schneiderman had to convince Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to put the vote on the agenda through a certificate of necessity, allowing it to skip the committee process.

The Flanders Riverside and Northampton Community Association is already in support of the foot bridge, said Vince Taldone, the group’s president.

“We have these 14 acres that were acquired for parkland and now we’re looking to find what we can do with it,” he said. “How can we make the best use of it? Now is the time to start looking, because Southampton Town is seriously engaged in a revitalization effort for Riverside.”

The town has a Riverside economic development committee that is planning on issuing a request for proposals from developers with ideas on how to rebuild the beleaguered Riverside hamlet.

“We think one of the things that will make the area more attractive to investors is to have a beautiful park across the street” from a Main Street-like business district envisioned for Flanders Road, Mr. Taldone said in an interview.

“This would be a great addition to the kind of economic development and facelift we’re trying to bring to that area,” Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne Holst told the Legislature Tuesday. “It’s somewhat unique and a great attraction that would help both Riverhead and the Town of Southampton in the areas of Flanders and Riverside, which have been in some economic distress.”

Mr. Schneiderman recently unveiled a 3D computer graphic “vision” for Riverside at a FRNCA meeting, calling for the creation of a small downtown area near the traffic circle. The vision includes the walking trail and footbridge over the Peconic.

“I think this will become a landmark,” Mr. Schneiderman said of the proposed bridge. “People will get married on the bridge, and people will come to Riverhead just to walk on the bridge.”

EDITORIAL: RIVERSIDE PLAN WILL NEED MUCH SUPPORT

The legislator spent Wednesday measuring the height of the Route 105 bridge, which spans the Peconic River to the east, with some string he bought from Kmart to find out how tall the proposed footbridge would have to be.

At high tide, the Route 105 bridge was 27 feet above the water, so the Peconic River bridge would not need to be any taller than that in order to avoid obstructing boat traffic, Mr. Scheiderman said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

06/30/13 4:00pm
06/30/2013 4:00 PM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Several houses on Bay Avenue and other areas in Flanders suffered major damage during superstorm Sandy.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | Several houses on Bay Avenue and other areas in Flanders suffered major damage during superstorm Sandy.

State department representatives will be available in Flanders on Monday to assist residents and business owners affected by Hurricane Sandy, Southampton Town officials said.

The New York State Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center will be open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the David Crohan Community Center. Representatives will be available to assist residents and business owners applying for recovery aid that the federal government approved last month. They will also help process SandyHelp applications and assist with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by the storm.

Sandy damaged a number of houses in Flanders, some that have since been rendered not safe to live in, particularly in low lying areas such as Bay Avenue or the streets off the north part of Long Neck Boulevard and adjacent streets.

Officials said residents who have already applied for assistance will also be able to receive a status on their applications and additional help with the recovery aid process.

Southampton Town residents and business owners affected by Sandy and Hurricane Irene can access additional information and fill out an application at www.nysandyhelp.ny.gov or by calling 855-NYS-SANDY (855-697-72639).

To read the town’s Recovery Action Plan, visit www.southamptontownny.gov.

jennifer@timesreview.com

06/21/13 7:00am
06/21/2013 7:00 AM
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Route 24 in Riverside, where a new 'Main Street' is envisioned.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Route 24 in Riverside, where a new ‘Main Street’ is envisioned.

A high water table and high number of vacant buildings are among the reasons some Riverside business and property owners give for why it’s been so hard to develop that area of Southampton Town commercially.

Those comments come a week after Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) unveiled a vision for Riverside, including a reconfigured traffic circle, in a 3D computer graphic presentation before the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association.

The proposal was just a vision, he stressed to the civic members, designed to jump-start a planning process, rather than an actual development proposal.

He suggested that the commercial corridor on Flanders Road, across from McDonald’s, contain two- and three-story buildings with retail shops and cafes on the ground floor and apartments above them.

He likened the plan’s “Main Street” component to downtown Sag Harbor.

Mr. Schneiderman also suggested working with the owners of the Budget Host Inn and the vacant building that once housed the Riverboat Diner to try to reroute Riverleigh Avenue (County Road 104) so it connects to Lake Avenue (County Road 63) instead of extending all the way to the five-pronged traffic circle. Officials would also try to convince the hotel owners to develop that property as a supermarket and try to re-establish a restaurant at the diner site.

The lawmaker said if there is no interest from those property owners, he would support making the traffic circle into a two-lane roundabout that remains connected to the five roads it now serves.

The legislator’s vision, which came out of meeting with civic and town leaders, also featured a walking trail to the Peconic River and a footbridge over the river into downtown Riverhead.

Mr. Schneiderman also stressed nothing could happen without a commercial sewage treatment facility, because of the environmentally sensitive nature of the land along the Peconic River, and he said cooperation from property owners is needed. Now would be a good time to propose such a plan, he said, because many of the buildings in the area are boarded up or for sale.

Shep Scheinberg, whose family owns the Riverboat Diner property, which has sat vacant for several years, said by email that this property is on the market for lease or sale. He said a bank had shown interest in the site but, after hearing a county Department of Public Works presentation on options for improving the flow of traffic in the circle, “they got cold feet, as the state of our property was uncertain.”

Mr. Scheinberg said he and his family have had a number of meetings on this subject with the county and town, the last being on May 31. After that meeting, he said, “it was concluded and agreed by all parties that the option of going through our property was no longer a consideration.”

Because of this, Mr. Schneiderman said, “the county is now reaching out to the owner of the adjacent motel property to see if we can begin a discussion that would redevelop that property as a supermarket and allow the road connection.”

The owner of the Budget Host Inn could not be reached for comment.

David Abrahamson, a co-owner of the former 99 Cent Store across from McDonald’s, said the ownership group is still trying to find a tenant for that building, which has been vacant for about a year and a half.

He said Mr. Schneiderman’s vision for the Flanders Road corridor “would be pretty difficult” without sewer plants.

“One of the issues is the high water table in the area,” he said in an interview. “Anything that comes in there that isn’t dry goods is an issue, because you would need to build an above-ground septic system.”

He said the property is only about one foot above groundwater.

The existing septic system is only good for the sinks and bathrooms, Mr. Abrahamson said. “If you’re preparing foods, you need an above-ground septic system, and that could cost at least $50,000.”

Mr. Schneiderman has secured a $250,000 county grant to study the possibly of building a sewage treatment plant in Riverside that would make it easier to develop properties like Mr. Abrahamson’s. However, the cost of the system isn’t known yet because officials must still decide how large an area would be covered by the proposed sewer district. The smaller the area, the less the district would cost, he said.

William Eves, who owns the building in between the New York State Police barracks and the vacant Getty station on the Riverside traffic circle, said he has town approval for a 15-seat fast food restaurant in that building. He says there has been a lot of interest in leasing the building, but that he wants to sell it. But there hasn’t been as much interest from prospective buyers, he said.

Mr. Eves said he thought the area was rebounding a few years ago but that progress stopped. He feels that being surrounded by vacant building like the former Getty site and the Riverboat Diner site also hurts attempts to redevelop.

And like Mr. Abrahamson, Mr. Eves said the low water table is a major obstacle. His property is about four feet above groundwater and, he says, the area was apparently raised many years ago because there’s a concrete road buried under the current road.

Mr. Eves said he believes the Getty station, which has been closed for about two years, should be torn down. He thinks the previous plan to build a hotel and conference center along the river, as well as a plan from the 1990s for a Long island Maritime Museum, were what the area needed.

The hotel plan, proposed by Southampton Inn owner Dede Gotthelf, ran into environmental issues and Ms. Gotthelf sold much of the land to the county as open space. The Maritime Museum plan, for the same site, never came to fruition.

Mr. Eves also had another proposal for Riverside, which probably wouldn’t fly with people in neighboring Flanders.

“If you want an entryway into Southampton Town, put the Big Duck in the traffic circle,” he said. “Do you know how beautiful that would look? Put it right in the middle of the traffic circle.”

Flanders residents had lobbied officials to move the duck back to its current location in Flanders several years ago, after it had spent more than a decade at a site near the Hampton Bays border.

Mr. Schneiderman’s proposal received support from FRNCA members, although a comment was attributed to FRNCA president Vince Taldone in last week’s News-Review in which Mr. Taldone said he doubted the plan would ever happen in his lifetime. Mr. Taldone says he was actually referring to a proposal voiced by FRNCA member Chris Sheldon — and not to Mr. Schneiderman’s proposal. Mr. Sheldon had suggested moving Flanders Road behind stores and away from the river in order to create more waterfront.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said there are several sources within the state of possible funding for a sewer project in the Riverside area, but added that it “would be a very costly project.”

“I doubt there would be enough state and local money to do such a project alone,” he said, speaking strictly of the sewer component of the vision. “In the old days, 70 percent would have been paid under the Federal Clean Water Act. The funding no longer exists.

“Some sort of federal help would be needed to make this a viable project financially.” Mr. Thiele said.

tgannon@timesreview.com

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Legislator Jay Schneiderman presented his vision for Riverside at a civic meeting last week.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Legislator Jay Schneiderman presented his vision for Riverside at a civic meeting earlier this month.