Board rejects farmer’s excavation permit; news of new GOP leaders sweeps through Town Hall


The Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday night approved by a vote of 5-0 a resolution denying Driftwood Family Farm’s application to excavate 415,000 cubic yards of sand from its 42-acre Calverton property.

Town officials had expressed concern that it could set a precedent, leading to increased sand mining.

Before the vote, the farmer and property owner, Steve Mezynieski, took to the podium only to say he appreciated the amount of time the town put into reviewing his application.

While casting his vote, Councilman James Wooten said he would like to find a way to help Mr. Mezynieski establish a working farm at the property, which is just west of the FedEx building along Route 25 in Calverton, without taking so much sand.

Councilman John Dunleavy, who once favored allowing the excavation permit, agreed.

There were also five public hearings scheduled.

One hearing in particular, on a proposal designed to prevent people from renting houses for weekend parties, drew the most noise from members of the public.

It was also learned from town staffers that the Riverhead Republican Committee , which was holding its reorganizational meeting at the same time at Polish Hall, had elected Mason Haas as chairman, as had been expected. Mr. Haas is a town tax assessor.

Vic Prusinowski, a former councilman and current owner of Cody’s BBQ downtown, was elected vice chairman. Tammy Robinkoff was voted as treasurer and Tracy Stark James, the executive director of the town Industrial Development Agency, was voted in as secretary.

The Town Board meeting started at 7 p.m. and News-Review reporter Tim Gannon reported live.

Click on the blog box below to see what transpired.

September 17, 2013 – Agenda by Riverhead News-Review

September 17, 2013 – Packet by Riverhead News-Review