Letter: L.I. Science Center director addresses towing in lot

(Credit: Carrie Miller)
(Credit: Carrie Miller)

I would first like to thank all who responded and support us at the Long Island Science Center.  I, Michelle Pelletier, am current Executive Director at the Long Island Science Center (LISC) and have been for 2.5 years.  Please allow me to address all issues on this forum and article. 

The parking lot has been a major concern for some time and we exhausted all other means of keeping the parking lot clean and safe. On occasions you would be able to find broken beer glasses, discarded clothing, other unmentionable items, food wrappers and discarded bones.  As a nonprofit, we all wear a lot of hats, and many times I become the cleaning and security crew. These are items that we do not want our “little scientists” to find or be exposed to.  Our number one priority is, and always will be, the safety of the children and families that come to our Science Center. In addition, the parking lot was affecting business of our non-profit Science Center. Put simply, parents did not want to bring their children to the Science Center because they did not feel safe.


We placed signs about the towing weeks before it began. We also had been warning with flyers and stickers (ones that peeled off easily) about the imminent towing. I personally met with the Town Planning department about what I can do on site to change the parking and the procedure for doing so, and I let them know that in the mean time I will be enforcing the private lot with towing.

The BID claims that the company contracted to tow is not following protocol.  We have spoken to the company responsible for towing.  The company has already met with the town attorney’s office and reviewed protocol.  No offenses were noted and all cars are towed in accordance to Town law/protocol. Cash receipts are always available.

There is no discrimination in which illegal parked cars are towed.  If you park in a spot clearly marked as a ‘tow zone’ and you do not come into the Science Center, you will be towed.  This applies to the patrons conducting any business other than with the LISC or it’s tenants. When contacted we have issued special passes for events like the “Concert in Park” and we will continue to do so. The LISC takes pride is providing any possible assistance to Riverhead Town and when contacted, will be happy to participate or help how we can.  Simply parking in a tow zone without contacting the LISC will result in towing.  We will continue to keep a clean and safe Parking lot for our little scientists and their families. As a friendly reminder, there is ample public parking in downtown.

We at LISC are disappointed with all the hearsay. There are many points in this article that are simply false. I never commented on the number of cars towed, as I have no idea other than what has been stated by others. Perhaps in the past the BID has contributed to LISC efforts, but in the 2.5 years I have been with LISC I have not seen this; in the future I would welcome any support offered.  We are a nonprofit; we were greatly affected by Super Storm Sandy and appreciate any assistance we can get.

It was stated that the bank, which is Chase Bank not Capital One, had complaints and issues with the towing policy. We met with Management of the Chase Bank on 9/18/14 and they had no complaints and stated that they do not need to park in the LISC parking lot because they have plenty of parking and our signs are very clear. They were completely unaware of the statements that were made about complaints.

We take pride in making sure that we provide the safest atmosphere for the children and families that come to our Science Center and we will continue to do so.

Thank you for your time and continued support.

Michelle Pelletier, Executive Director Long Island Science Center