Video: Walter wants promotional video to help sell downtown, EPCAL

SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO | The Shoreham plant has been identified as one of Brookhaven Town's so-called "monuments of blight."

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said Thursday he is interested in having a promotional video made to highlight the potential of downtown Riverhead and the former Grumman plant property in Calverton.

“It’s much easier if there is a YouTube video circulating a positive video of downtown Riverhead. It’s a marketing tool,” Mr. Walter said after a presentation in Town Hall, during which the Town Board viewed a similar video created in tandem with the Blight to Light initiative that took effect last year in Brookhaven Town.

(Scroll down to see the video.)

That program offers builders tax incentives and an expedited approval process to develop walkable, mixed-use communities. The properties are graded on the severity of blight, their potential for redevelopment and their location.

The almost five-minute video, which highlights vacant stores at the Bellport Outlet Center as well as the long-closed Shoreham nuclear power plant and other so-called “monuments of blight,” was played for the Town Board.

The clip also shows artist renderings of what blighted properties could look like if they’re developed.

Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko’s deputy of chief of staff, Stacey Epifane Sikes, who traveled to Riverhead to tout the Blight to Light initiative, said the video cost $25,000 to produce. It was paid for with Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency funds.

Though the Town Board reacted mostly with enthusiasm after the presentation, Councilman Jim Wooten said he would rather see legislation enacted in the spirit of Blight to Light before the town issued a request for proposals to create a promotional video.

“I don’t want to have the video out there until we have legislation to back it up,” he said.

The Town Board didn’t discuss launching any Blight to Light-type initiative of its own, but ended up focusing mainly on the promotional video.

“We have to find out how much its going to cost,” added Councilwoman Jodi Giglio.

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