Featured Letter: A project worthy of support

The unfinished bike path at EPCAL. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)
The unfinished bike path at EPCAL. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

To the editor:

It’s important to clarify a component of Tim Gannon’s article regarding the Calverton Enterprise Park recreation path. 

The town, technically, did not chip in $100,000 of its own money toward building the bike path. The original funding for the path was the result of a grant award of $100,000 through the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in late 2006. This funding actually came from the Federal Highway Administration and required matching. In January of 2008 (after I was off the Town Board), Councilman John Dunleavy asked state Senator LaValle to rededicate funding from another local project that had languished. The $100,000 through Sen. LaValle provided the required matching funds that allowed the town to pave the 3.2 miles along the northern and eastern sections of EPCAL.

I emphasize that to this point, except for expenses for engineering and design, no funds for the path have come from the town’s general fund or from the town’s recreation fund. The quote in Mr. Gannon’s article last week made by Legislator Tom Barraga of West Islip during the Dec. 15 hearing of the Legislature is poignant: a trail only .8 miles long in his district cost $1.7 million. The construction of the existing 8-foot-wide, 3.2-mile asphalt path in Calverton illustrates remarkable resourcefulness and frugality. Supervisor Sean Walter is absolutely correct in his assessment that the $200,000 from the county will not complete the 3.9 miles of paving needed to complete the 8.5-mile loop. But I really think that it’s about time for everyone to start realizing the potential benefits of this project, as Legislator Al Krupski has, and get on board with their support.

George Bartunek, Riverhead