Riverhead officials are expected to vote Thursday on transferring more than 1,600 acres of the EPCAL property in Calverton to the town’s Industrial Development Agency to help speed the stalled close of the $40 million sale.
The transfer would allow the town to lease the property via the agency to venture group Calverton Aviation and Technology, an affiliate of Triple Five Group, the majority partner in the pending sale.
Town officials fielded questions from residents at a March 8 public information forum regarding concerns about the Pine Barrens and how the lease process works, among other questions.
Dawn Thomas, Riverhead’s Community Development Agency director, told Newsday that the community feedback was positive, and thus far there does not appear to be major pushback against the IDA lease process.
Town officials previously said they reached a stalemate with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County Water Authority in a dispute over who can supply water to the property. The town is missing a key permit to complete an 8-lot subdivision for the site that is required to complete the sale. Both the town and the water authority want to supply water for the property.
A statement from DEC spokeswoman Aphrodite Montalvo said the town’s application is still active with the department.
“DEC has not been presented with details about the town’s plans to transfer parcels at EPCAL. Suffolk County Water Authority is currently authorized to supply water to the area,” Montalvo said. “If they choose not to do so, and if DEC receives required documentation from the Riverhead Water District or other entity that demonstrates adequate water supply capacity, DEC will conduct our reviews to ensure compliance.”
Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said the move would allow greater local control of the redevelopment process and require Calverton Aviation and Technology to “take continuous and immediate action to ensure its financial wherewithal.”
As part of those actions, the venture group would be required to spend and complete no less than $1 million of infrastructure improvements to runways on the property within the first two years and construct at least 1 million square feet of the approved commercial and industrial space, with construction to commence within 18 to 24 months of receiving the required IDA approvals, according to Aguiar.
The vote is scheduled to be held Thursday at a special town board meeting at 9:30 a.m. at Town Hall.