June 28, 2006
Lights, Camera, Action! The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the up-and-coming Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts School, is working to help revitalize downtown Riverhead with a new cable TV program.
The TV show will feature culinary demonstrations from the school's demonstration center and will feature guests, such as downtown restaurant chefs. To accomplish their goal, however, school and chamber officials asked for the town board's support in obtaining a county grant for $41,600 for video equipment that will be stationed at the culinary arts school, which is set to be built soon in downtown Riverhead.
Fire Marshall Appointed
Bruce Johnson, the town's fire marshal, has been named as a member of New York State's International Code Council Committee. Johnson is serving as the first vice president of the committee.
Riverhead is looking for town residents to serve on the town's Dark Skies Advisory Committee. As a member, volunteers advise the town board on legislation, education, energy conservation, and responsible lighting to help maintain the town's rural character by restoring the views of the night sky. For more information, call 727-3200.
Gas Station Addressed
The members of the town board met with the developers who are proposing to construct a controversial gas station next to the Riverhead Charter School.
The board notified the developers that they are willing to provide a negative declaration for their SEQRA study, provided they supply information to the town on the safety of the project, given its proximity to the school. The town is also looking to learn more about the traffic impacts of the proposal. Once the town obtains the information, Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale said the town board will be free to vote on the developer's special application permit.
According to Chris Kent, deputy town supervisor, talks with Apollo, the group the town's working with to revitalize downtown, are going well and a master development agreement should be hammered out in the near future. The agreement will make way for a qualified and eligible sponsorship hearing in which Apollo would be required to prove that it has the financial wherewithal to make things happen in downtown. The company is proposing to construct a multiplex, apartments, restaurants, and shops.
Hiring Town Residents
The town board is considering nixing a long-time rule that only permits town residents to work for the town. The rule, according to Cardinale, was put on the books in the 1960s.
"It seems the law is a bit antiquated," said Councilman George Bartunek, who voiced support for a change to the law that would allow the town to hire anyone off the civil service list.
Pulte Proposal Questioned
Councilman Ed Densieski questioned Pulte Home's proposal to construct over 400 residences on town property at Enterprise Park at Calverton.
Since accommodating the proposal, the town board would have to change the zone of the property to allow for residential development, Densieski, who is against housing at EPCAL, said it might be beneficial to let other developers know.
He pointed out that up until now, the town had not contemplated a zone change and other developers may have a better offer given the possibility of a zone change.
Pulte is offering the town $91 million for 775 acres. The company says it will also construct an ambulance barn and recreation center for the town. Pulte's proposal also calls for the construction of a hotel/conference center.
Supervisor Cardinale agreed with Densieski and suggested that once the zone change is complete, the town could put out a request for proposals asking developers for other offers.