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Residents once again urge Town Board to drop contract with CAT

Several speakers again urged the Riverhead Town Board to drop its contract with Calverton Aviation and Technology and put the Enterprise Park at Calverton land back on the market. 

The town is in contract to sell 1,643 acres at EPCAL to CAT for $40 million. CAT in turn, has said it will bring high-tech aviation and technology uses there. 

“You’re 11 months in, and you have not moved one step closer to selling the property,” Mike Foley of Riverhead said to Supervisor Yvette Aguiar at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting. “It’s Dec. 1, and you are no closer to signing a contract.”

CAT is majority-owned by Triple Five Group, which is best known for building large malls like the Mall of America in Minnesota. 

Ms. Aguiar noted that a previous Town Board signed the letter of agreement, which the current board is bound by.

She and Councilman Tim Hubbard said that the state Department of Environmental Conservation is holding up the process of obtaining the eight-lot subdivision that is needed in order to sell individual lots to CAT.

Ms. Aguiar said that every time the town answers questions from the DEC, the agency responds with more questions and requests for information. 

Until the DEC signs off on the subdivision, “not much is going to happen,” Mr. Hubbard said.

Ms. Aguiar said she is being told that the DEC is moving slowly because many of their employees are working on COVID-19-related issues. 

“The goal is to get the subdivision so we can move on,” Ms. Aguiar said. “I don’t care who buys it.”

John McAuliff of Riverhead said the town originally planned a 50-lot subdivision in which smaller parcels could be broken out and sold. He suggested the town reconsider that.

“Go back into the market,” he said. “It’s better off than this terrible deal.”