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Riverhead Water District seeks $5.5M in upgrades; public hearings set

Faced with a number of large new development projects coming to Riverhead in the near future, the Riverhead Water District is seeking approximately $5.5 million in upgrades to its system, according to district superintendent Mark Conklin, who discussed the request with the Town Board last Thursday.

The requested upgrades include a new ground storage tank at Plant 15 on Tuthills Lane in Aquebogue, estimated to cost $3.4 million; new emergency generators at Plant 16 on Edwards Avenue in Calverton and at the Pulaski Street facility, estimated at $1.15 million; and about 4,800 feet of water main extensions throughout town, estimated at approximately $962,000, according to Mr. Conklin.

The Town Board will hold public hearings on those projects at its May 2 meeting, which begins at 2 p.m.

“We have a list of projects before the town that’s going to add a tremendous burden on the district,” Mr. Conklin said.

That list was presented to the Town Board at its work session last Thursday to demonstrate the potential impact on the water district. It includes 25 projects that have been proposed or discussed, as well as a few that are already under construction.

Combined, those projects would increase demand on the water district’s system by an estimated 239,491 gallons per day.

“Right now, we don’t have it,” Mr. Conklin said. “There are projects that are not going to get approved because we don’t have the water to give to them.”

“If we’re going to operate a water district, we’re going to have to fund a water district,” Supervisor Sean Walter said.

The list of upcoming projects includes only those that would require more than 500 gallons per day, said water district consultant John Collins of H2M Engineering.

According to the list, the projects expected to have the largest impact are the proposed Georgica Green apartment/retail complex at East Main Street and McDermott Avenue, at 40,273 gallons per day; the adjacent proposed apartment/retail complex proposed for the former Sears site, at an estimated 32,000 gallons daily; and the Marriott Residence Hotel currently under construction on Route 58 across from Tanger Outlets, at an estimated 25,232 gallons per day.

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