Riverhead officials: Board delays EPCAL vote to allow more public review
Riverhead officials postponed a vote on transferring the title and ownership of the Enterprise Park at Calverton to the town’s Industrial Development Agency after residents requested a public meeting to explain how the transfer would work.
A resolution would allow the town to lease the property via the agency to Calverton Aviation and Technology, an affiliate of Triple Five Group, the majority partner in the pending $40 million sale. The venture group has offered to buy more than 1,600 acres of developable property at EPCAL, but the sale has been pending for years.
The town board delayed the vote at its regular meeting on Tuesday. Phil Barbato, of Jamesport, said a public session is necessary "so citizens can understand what is planned with this transition."
Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said during the meeting that while the town has spent more than a year discussing how to move forward with the sale, "not all of the assurances verbally agreed upon" by the venture group and the town board had been met, another factor in delaying the vote.
Aguiar said the board will meet again soon to discuss the matter further and that the title transfer option is still on the table.
"One thing we agree on is that it is important to discuss this alternative option so, if possible, we can move the matter forward to determine whether CAT [Calverton Aviation and Technology] is able to keep the promises made in the contract," Aguiar said. "The terms of the contract remain fully intact in this alternative process."
A dispute over who can supply water to EPCAL has stalled the sale. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has denied the town a key permit necessary to complete an eight-lot subdivision of the property for the sale to proceed. The agency would not approve the permit unless the town named the Suffolk County Water Authority as the provider of public water to the proposed subdivision, resulting in the town suing the DEC last April to overturn the decision.
A state Supreme Court justice dismissed the town’s lawsuit in October.