Featured Letter: On EPCAL vets plan — let’s do this

To the editor:

I have just finished reading Anthony Coates’ guest column on EPCAL regarding considering turning a portion of the property into a veterans’ medical and research facility. This is an idea that should be seriously considered because it seems that no one seems to know what to do with the property. We have seen ideas for shopping malls, condos, a NASCAR track, a drag strip, golf course, amusement park, indoor ski mountain and an array of other projects that were all shot down for one reason or another.

A VA center would benefit parts of the west end of Suffolk County as well as the entire East End, both the North and South forks. They do have a small facility over at the County Center but nothing else without having to go to Northport. We have the government’s largest national cemetery pretty much right across the street from EPCAL, so why not a VA facility? The federal government will find the funding for something like this and it wouldn’t have to be done all in one shot. They could start with administrative offices and then move to medical facilities and then on to the research since that would probably be the most expensive part of the project.

This would create much-needed jobs on this end of the island and maybe even give the youth of the area a reason to stay here instead of going to areas where hiring is being done to fill positions. A study should be done to see if it is a viable option for the Town of Riverhead and the entire East End of Long Island. It’s time the town and the powers that be took their heads out of the sand on this whole EPCAL project. Thanks for the read.

Andy McLoughlin, Calverton