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Public hearing on proposed recreational center at EPCAL now set for June 15

A public hearing on Island Water Park’s proposed recreational center at Enterprise Park at Calverton has been rescheduled to the Riverhead Town Board’s June 15th meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. 

The hearing — on an amendment to an approved site plan from 2013 — was originally scheduled for May 19, but that hearing had to be rescheduled due to some missing paperwork in the hearing notification, according to Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

Island Water Park, headed by Eric Scott of Port Jefferson, purchased 42 acres at EPCAL from the town in 2003 for $714,000 and has been trying to develop it as a water park for about 18 years.

The site plan approved in 2013 calls for construction of an outdoor recreation facility, including a nearly 477,000-square-foot manmade lake to be used as a rope-tow water skiing facility and for use by other non-motorized boats. 

It also calls for two multi-purpose buildings, one that is 49,200 square feet and a smaller one that is 6,000 square feet.

The amendment seeks to change the use of the larger building to convert 30,000 square feet of it to a commercial entertainment use, according to the resolution setting the hearing. 

The proposed facility will have a 118-seat restaurant and a 3,000-square-foot event space, according to Ken Myers, who will oversee food and beverage operations and special events at the water park. 

The amendment would delete the 6,000-square foot building, increase the size of the kitchen and increase the restaurant seating capacity, and the size of an exterior balcony and patio, among other proposed changes. 

The proposal also features a “Ninja warrior” obstacle course, bumper boats, rock climbing and a surf pool, among other activities, according to the applicants.

In May, Island Water Park also made a presentation before the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency seeking a 20-year payment in lieu of taxes on the project. Daniel Baker, an attorney representing Island Water Park, said they are also seeking incentives such as an abatement in county mortgage recording tax, worth an estimated $75,000; and an exemption from sales tax, on purchases made in conjunction with the project, which they estimated at about $1.3 million. 

Mr. Baker said the amount of the PILOT was still under negotiations.

The IDA canceled its June 7 meeting , but a public hearing must be held before the IDA could act on the application.

The project received a boost in December when the Central Pine Barrens and Policy Commission unanimously ruled that the commission has no jurisdiction inside the fence at EPCAL.

The commission is made up of the supervisors of Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven towns, and representatives from the county and state.