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Riverhead landfill could yield revenue

Riverhead Town supervisor Sean Walter

Riverhead Town supervisor Sean Walter Credit: Sally Morrow

Supervisor Sean Walter was all smiles at Thursday’s town board work sessions as officials discussed the possibility of setting up a solar power farm on the capped town landfill off Youngs Avenue.

Officials of Long Island Green Energy — who have worked for months on alternate plans to lease the 78-acre landfill or pay the town a part of their profits in exchange for use of the land — were talking real money.

One proposal had the town receiving $310,000 a year. Another had the town getting $100,000 a year and 5five percent of the profits for 25 years.

“I’m loving it,” Walter said.

But Walter didn't know how much he could get for the land from another company or whether it was legal to give Long Island Green Energy a no-bid contract.

“I can’t see doing this without an RFP,” he said. A formal request for proposals effectively puts any solar or wind project up for bid, possibly including the rights to mine for methane produced at the now-closed landfill as well.

Councilman George Gabrielsen, who has worked with Long Island Green Energy on the proposal, said it should get credit for its work, and town board officials allowed the firm to take back some information it provided, saying that could affect future bidding.

An RFP is expected to be sought by the town sometime next year, said officials, who also discussed expanding the proposal to cover all town properties, including sections of Enterprise Park at Calverton.

Above, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter

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