Riverhead supe making final push on EPCAL legislation

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | EPCAL's north gate on Route 25 in Calverton.

The bill to create an EPCAL Reuse and Revitalization District, intended to fast-track development proposals at the former Grumman property in Calverton, is moving faster in the state Senate than in the Assembly, said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, who met Wednesday with the chair of the Assembly’s local governments committee to try to jump-start the bill.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the bill had advanced to a third reading in the Senate’s local governments committee, and was close to a vote on the floor of the full Senate.

But it had not progressed that far in the Assembly’s equivalent committee.


“I met with the assemblyman in charge of the local governments committee [William Magnarelli, D-Syracuse] this morning and he is going to coordinate a meeting with me next week to brief committee members,” Mr. Walter said Wednesday. “I don’t know if it will be with the full committee, but we may be going up to Albany again next week or at some future date to brief the local governments committee.

“In the Senate, it’s through the local governments committee and it should be ready, I guess, for a vote on the Senate floor. But if it lags behind in the Assembly, I don’t know if they will vote on it at this point.”

Mr. Walter hopes to have the bill approved by both houses before the legislative ends on Thursday, June 22.

“It’s coming down to the wire,” Mr. Walter said. “If it doesn’t happen, we’ll try and push it through again if they meet in the fall, and if not, I’ll start early in January. But we’re that much further ahead.”

The bill hasn’t encountered any major opposition, he said, but there is still the question of how much of a priority it is for senators and Assembly members from other areas.

“That’s the key,” Mr. Walter said. “This is my priority, but that doesn’t mean it’s everybody else’s priority.”

The Town Board voted unanimously last Thursday to support the legislation, which would create a seven-person commission to oversee development project approvals at the Enterprise Park at Calverton.

The legislation would create the revitalization district and a commission tasked with approving project proposals.

The commission would comprise the five Town Board members, a governor appointee and a county executive appointee. There would also be two non-voting members, who Mr. Walter said would probably come from the environmental community.

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