Supervisor Sean Walter went to visit the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic City Monday to check out whether the five 1.5 megawatt wind turbines operating there were noisy. And he says they weren’t.

“We heard some noise, but not much,” Mr. Walter said. “The sewer plant was much noisier.” The Atlantic City turbines are located on the same property as a 40 million-gallon sewer plant, he said.

Mr. Walter visited the wind farm because the town has proposed building a 275-foot-high, 750 kilowatt wind turbine at the Riverhead sewer plant, and that proposal has run into community opposition, with noise being one of the concerns.

“It was an eye-opener,” Mr. Walter said. “I thought it was going to be much louder.“

The supervisor said he plans to visit a wind turbine upstate at Madison County Wind Farm in Fenner before making a decision on the town plan. News reports indicate that one of the 187-ton turbines on that farm collapsed in December 2009.


Two proposals that have been around for several years received votes in the affirmative from the Town Board Tuesday. Browning Hotel Enterprises, which built the 115-room Hilton Garden Inn on Route 58 across from Tanger Outlet Center,  received approval of an excavating permit needed in order to build a second hotel next door to it.

The second hotel is proposed to be a 140-room Residence Inn by Marriott. The Town Board approved both hotels together in 2006, but the second was to be phased in once the developer purchased 78 development rights credits. The Town Board approved an excavation permit for 14,235 cubic yards, which will generate $28,470 in fees for the town.

The Town Board also approved an extension to the special permit it granted Hampton Jitney in 2009 to build a bus terminal and maintenance facility on the east side of Edwards Avenue. Town officials said that proposal has run into delays with the county health department. The extension is good until March 17, 2012.


Mr. Walter wants to reopen the long-dormant comfort station on West Main Street, calling it “amazing” that the building hasn’t been open since 1990.

The supervisor said the town is seeking to get back a $60,000 grant that was originally awarded to the project by Suffolk County but later redirected to another project.

The town put the project out to bid twice and both times the cost came in at more than $110,000, he said.

While the town can do some of the work in-house, Mr. Walter said renovation of the comfort station won’t begin until the town has the grant money back.
The Business Improvement District has also pledged $5,000 toward reopening the comfort station, according to its president, Ray Pickersgill.

The comfort station was originally donated by the Riverhead Lions Club.

“With all the money we’ve put into renovating Grangebel Park, and with the River and Roots Community Garden expected to be ready soon, I think you’re going to see a much different feel to that area,” Mr. Walter said.

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