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Town Board votes to settle sand mining lawsuit

The Riverhead Town Board voted Tuesday to settle a lawsuit it filed in 2015 against Edward Partridge, T.S. Haulers and Calverton Tree Farm, alleging that the companies illegally mined sand without permits on land adjacent to an existing T.S. Haulers sand mine on the north side of Route 25 in Calverton.

The settlement requires Mr. Partridge to pay the town $226,000 to the town, according to town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz.

Mr. Partridge, who owns both T.S. Haulers and Calverton Tree Farm, was involved in lengthy litigation with the town in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the town claimed T.S. Haulers illegally mined the 57 acres without permits. The state Department of Environmental Conservation permitted that mining, citing a 1997 town Zoning Board of Appeals ruling that the sand mine was a “non-nuisance industry” and thus was permitted in that zoning category.

T.S. Haulers stopped mining the site in 2012 and began a new nursery business there called Calverton Tree Farm.

The 2015 litigation related to the 96 acres immediately west of the original mining location, where town officials alleged Mr. Partridge again mined sand illegally.

In 2015, Calverton Tree Farm claimed the alleged mining was “excavation in aid of agricultural activities” and was therefore not considered mining under state law. Nonetheless, the DEC fined Calverton Tree Farm $7,500 after the company agreed to a consent order, according to a DEC spokesperson.

Photo: 2015 file photo

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