Contracts awarded; work to start at town athletic facilities

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO The baseball and softbal fields at EPCAL should be accessible this summer.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO The baseball and softbal fields at EPCAL should be accessible this summer.

The Riverhead Town Board last week awarded contracts for two key recreation projects that officials have been discussing for years.

One is the rehabilitation of the soccer and multi-purpose fields at Stotzky Park, which have been badly worn out from overuse over the years. That contract was awarded to Bimasco Inc. of Hauppauge, which bid $339,996.

The other project involves a contract to stripe the Route 25 entrance to the new town recreation area at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, which features new baseball and softball fields actually completed last year, a bike trail that runs around the entire EPCAL site and new soccer fields being planned for about 30 already cleared acres east of the baseball fields. That contract went to Corazzini Asphalt of Cutchogue, which bid $44,226.

“This covers everything from the field to the irrigation to the fencing,” Councilman George Gabrielsen said at last Thursday’s Town Board meeting.

The town plans to have a six-foot fence built around the Stotzky Park field, town officials said.

“That field is only going to be used for youth and it’s going to be fenced and locked when it isn’t being used,” said Supervisor Sean Walter.

“The adult soccer [field] will be moved to EPCAL,” he continued. “[The Stotzky Park] field really has to be preserved for the kids, and we’re hoping we can keep up the grass field, because we couldn’t afford the million dollars for Astroturf. We’re hoping that by using it just for PAL soccer and football, the field will get enough rest between sessions that it will recover.

“It will be fenced,” the supervisor said. “Some of the residents may not like it, but in off times, it will be locked, because we cannot take the chance of some of the adult leagues going on to it. The adults kicked the tar out of that turf.”

The Stotzky Park field isn’t expected to be ready until August or September, officials said. The contractor has 90 days to complete the job, but the town will want to give the field about 30 days to grow after that, Mr. Gabrielsen said. The field will be re-sodded and drainage will be installed, he said.

The EPCAL project includes opening the baseball and softball fields that were created last year, but never used; re-striping of the park entrance on Route 25; creation of gravel parking; and providing fencing; and access to the bike path that runs around most of EPCAL, officials said.

The town had planned a more lavish park on the 60 acres at EPCAL several years ago but never came up with the money.

“We took a $5 million project and scaled it back to something less than $2 million,” Mr. Walter said.

The town has already spent about $1.5 million on the EPCAL fields.

“It’s going to be a beautiful place. It’s just not as grandiose as we once planned,” he said.

Eliminated from the plans are lights, concession stands, bathrooms and a cobblestone walkway.

The town still hasn’t received formal approval from the county Department of Health Services to use septic systems while it waits to hook the park into the Calverton sewer district, officials said.

The town is hoping to have the EPCAL fields opened for use by late spring or early summer, Mr. Gabrielsen said.

In addition to town leagues and youth leagues, the town also hopes to allow the baseball fields at EPCAL to be used by the Riverhead Tomcats of the Hampton Collegiate Baseball league, who currently play at Riverhead High School.
League officials have said they hope to contribute funding toward field improvements.

Work at both Stotzky Park and EPCAL is being paid for out of the town’s parks and recreation fund, town officials said.
Developers pay into the fund when they subdivide land.

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