Town Hall Notes: Grants sought for ice rink

Plans for an ice skating rink in downtown Riverhead took a few steps forward last Thursday, as the Riverhead Town Board passed a resolution formally supporting an application for county grants to fund that project.

The proposed rink, which would be located near the comfort station in the Peconic Riverfront parking lot, was the idea of the Business Improvement District management association members and could be used year round, since the ice would be synthetic.

The Town Board is applying for grants through the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Program, through which officials say up to $100,000 could be obtained. The BID plans to allocate another $100,000 from its own fund reserves, according to its president, Ray Pickersgill.

Mr. Pickersgill said the BID has about $194,000 in reserve funds that were budgeted in previous years but never spent. The project’s first phase, the rink itself, would cost an estimated $200,000. The BID is planning to build a pavilion over the rink in a later, second phase.

“We can operate it ourselves with volunteers,” Mr. Pickersgill said, adding that the BID is also hoping to get advertising to fund the rink’s operating costs.

Ambulance barn getting AC for meds

After debating whether to install air conditioning in the bay area at Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps headquarters or in individual ambulances, the Town Board last Thursday finally decided to air condition the bay area.

The ambulance corps originally wanted to install AC in the bays in order to comply with state regulations that require medications to be kept at a certain temperature. But the Town Board balked at the cost and asked the corps to explore the cost of putting AC in individual ambulances. The corps originally made the request last September and came back again in March.

Corps president Ron Rowe told the Town Board May 19 that it would cost more to cool the four ambulances individually, since another refrigerator would be needed in the ambulance barn to cool medications that are not in the vehicles. The total came to about $35,000, compared to $24,000 to air condition the ambulance bay, according to the corps’ estimates.

Last Thursday, the board voted to formally seek bids to install air conditioning in the ambulance bay area. Mr. Rowe said new ambulances come equipped with air conditioning and that ambulances last about 12 years.

Town to buy in bulk

The Town Board also voted last Thursday to join the Long Island Intergovernmental Relations Purchasing Council, in the hope of being able to buy things at lower prices.

The council is a collective that combines the buying power of municipalities across Long Island and allows local governments to purchase necessities at reduced cost, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.

“Just as homeowners take advantage of the savings at price clubs and warehouse stores, we in Riverhead will avail ourselves of the savings the council offers,” Mr. Walter said in a press release.

“This will save us a lot of money,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said last Thursday.

Any county, town, village, school district, fire district or BOCES within Nassau and Suffolk counties is eligible to join the cooperative.

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