May 10, 2006
Urgent Need For Landfill RFPs
Riverhead Councilman Ed Densieski pointed out the pressing need for a revenue stream for the ongoing landfill reclamation project in urging the board to move ahead with Requests for Proposals that would generate income.
"Considering that we're spending $37,000 a day" at the landfill, said Densieski, "we'd better listen to all ideas."
Proposals for the site include allowing a developer to come in and continue reclamation of the landfill with a "one-time excavation," then building a park and a lake.
Councilman John Dunleavy emphasized that the town stands to benefit from the sand at the site. "We should get money for the sand. Everyone is getting money except the town," he said.
Densieski disagreed: "I don't think the town should go into the sand mining business."
But Densieski feels the town needs to speed up on issuing RFPs.
Councilwoman Barbara Blass reminded that the town is under a legal responsibility to the Department of Environmental Conservation, which dictates the time constraints of the project.
Town Supervisor Phil Cardinale said the reason why the project has such a great possibility of working in the private industry sector, for projects such as senior housing, is the number of tax credit programs available "in the tens of millions."
The town board discussed plans for a July 4 event to be sponsored by the Wildlife Rescue Center, Inc. The board has "danced around the issue of renumeration" of expenses related to the event, Cardinale said. Board members decided that yes, they want the event to proceed, but details regarding police, sanitation, and fire marshal issues are still to be discussed with WRC, Inc.
Gas Station Talks Continue
Representatives of 1998 Peconic LLC were back before the board with revised plans for a brand-new gas station on Route 25, next to the Riverhead Charter School that's sparked some controversy due to their proposed high number of pumps and large convenience store.
The key change the players offered up to the board was the elimination of a planned car wash, a move designed to mitigate traffic. Also discussed were limiting hours of operation from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. to minimize disturbances in the area.
A hot discussion item was the 20 pumps onsite. "That is well beyond what we have in town currently," offered Councilwoman Barbara Blass.
The developer's representative Jim Miller said the gas station was the "lesser and more attractive use" for the site. Cardinale said he needed more information, including an environmental impact statement.
Joe Van De Wetering asked the town board for help in reducing expenses at Grumman Memorial Park. Cardinale agreed the town could provide a phone extension, as well as explore other options for financing, including a large sign advertising the site and erecting a cell tower on the property.
Groundbreaking Plan Unveiled
The board briefly discussed the long-awaited Safe Housing Initiative prepared by Councilman Ed Densieski and John Dunleavy. Densieski distributed a revised version of the proposed code and board members promised to read it over for discussion at a later date.
Rec Fee Redux
After a recent public hearing on the subject, the board bantered about whether or not to keep a set number or set a new recreation fee for developers based on assessed value of land. The board agreed a decision needs to be made soon.