FBI to use runway for bomb squad training
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will use the 7,000-foot-long runway at the town-owned Enterprise Park at Calverton today to teach bomb squad technicians how to deal with improvised explosive devices.
The request for use, made through the Suffolk County Police Department, was approved by the Riverhead Town Board this week, although Councilman John Dunleavy decided that a bit of explanation was necessary after the 5-0 vote.
“These won’t be real bombs,” he explained to the audience in Town Hall.
The FBI will ensure that everyone taking part in the training signs liability waivers, and that proper fire suppression equipment is on site.
— Mitchell Freedman
Board approves jobs center contract
The Hempstead Village Board has approved a $107,000 amended contract with a local nonprofit to establish a jobs and business referral center as part of the village’s $2-billion downtown redevelopment project.
The board voted 5-0 Tuesday to accept a one-year consulting agreement that calls for Hempstead-based ABBA Leadership Center, led by Evangelist Reginald Benjamin, to receive a $25,000 advance and $6,818 a month to fund the startup.
Last month, the board voted 4-1 to approve the original contract, with trustee Donald Ryan voting against it, citing concerns about its tie to the fate of the redevelopment project’s first building. Under the previous contract, the ABBA contract would have been terminated if the site plan was rejected.
“People were upset that we had it the way we had it,” Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. said Wednesday. “We changed the language, and this time we had five votes.”
Hempstead Village officials have expressed reservations about the location of master developer Renaissance Downtowns UrbanAmerica’s proposed 349-unit, five-story rental apartment building on a heavily used village-owned parking lot at Washington and Front streets, across from Hempstead Town Hall. But developers have argued there is an adjacent parking garage that is underutilized.
“I feel more confident we will get people trained and not be held back by the other project,” said Benjamin, who is preparing residents to fill some of the 10,000 construction jobs expected to be created by the revitalization project.
The contract also requires ABBA to work with Crescent Consulting, a Peekskill-based minority-owned management consulting services firm that would run a separate local contracting referral center. A separate contract for Crescent is expected to be considered at the next board meeting on Oct. 15, Hall said. Both centers are to be funded through the collection of zoning fees.
— Aisha Al-Muslim
Sewage treatment repairs underway
Work is underway at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant to repair massive damage from superstorm Sandy, which sent raw sewage spilling into homes in Bay Park and Baldwin, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced Wednesday.
“My administration is aggressively moving forward with [these] critical repairs,” he said. “They will greatly improve plant operations and the quality of life for those who live close by.”
Among the most critical projects are those that address odor control and power at the plant, while other projects will continue to enhance the treatment process.
In addition, Mangano announced the early success of a pilot program there to remove nitrogen from the treated effluent water, which could have a tremendous positive impact on the surrounding waterways. Since being put into operation in July, results indicate that more than 80 percent of the nitrogen is removed from the treated water introduced into the system. Normally, a full-scale facility could reduce the total amount of nitrogen by only 20 percent.
“The results are very encouraging,” Mangano said.
In addition, he said, he expects other major related projects to go out to bid soon.
— Sid Cassese