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Construction at Calverton water park prompting complaints from residents

Activity at a new water park under construction has drawn some complaints from nearby residents.

At a Town Board meeting Tuesday, Kelly McClinchy of Manorville said work is being done at Island Water Park at night.

“It has come to my attention that some type of work is being done at night at the site,” she said. “Whether that work involves taking materials offsite or utilizing materials on the site to make cement for construction purposes, has yet to be seen. However, the fact remains that work is actively being done on the site and material is being excavated into very large piles.” 

Island Water Park has received preliminary site plan approval from the Town Board, but has yet to obtain final approval for its proposal in Calverton. 

John Wagner, an attorney for Island Water Park, told the board, “I would like to assure the board that Island Water Park is being developed responsibly in accordance with all required permits it has received and will continue to do so.”

He said he has had discussions with the town’s water district to install wells to monitor groundwater at Island Water Park. 

“No work should be done before final site plan,” Councilwoman Catherine Kent said. “This is being touted nationwide as a mini Disney World, and the supervisor is the one that’s taking three times over the limit in campaign donations from this company. That is very disturbing to me.” 

Aguiar contested that claim. According to the Suffolk Board of Elections, a corporation may make a maximum contribution of $5,000 to a candidate. Records show that Island Water Park has donated $3,815 to Aguiar this year.

John Cullen of Northville said he frequently rides the bike path at EPCAL and can see excavating taking place during the day time. 

Mr. Wagner said Island Water Park is not removing sand from the property. The sand is moved within the site, he said. 

“I’m hearing about a lot of trucks going in and out at night,” Ms. Kent said. 

“There’s no documentation of that,” Mr. Wagner said. 

Ms. McClinchy said that since a July 2020 work session with the Town Board, she believed the board has been more favorable toward the project. 

The state Pine Barrens Commission, which had opposed Riverhead’s application for ballfields at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, also granted approval to Island Water Park in December 2020.

Pine Barrens Commission members include the supervisors of Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven towns, along with representatives of Suffolk County and New York State.

Town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz said that in 1995, when the Pine Barrens plan was being developed, Riverhead “dug in its heels and said, ‘We don’t want the Pine Barrens Commission being involved in any development inside the fence’ at EPCAL.”

The Pine Barrens plan needed approval from Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven towns, as well as Suffolk County and New York State, and if one town opposed the Pine Barrens Commission, it would not pass. 

Mr. Kozakiewicz said the town has had at least one report of trucks leaving and entering the site, and the trucks were coming from a different location at about 3 a.m. 

“A police officer saw the trucks but did not observe if there was material in it,” Mr. Kozakiewicz said. 

He asked Mr. Wagner to speak to his client about limiting activity at the site from 6 or 7 p.m. until the following morning. Mr. Wagner said he would.