Riverhead officials approved the showing of drive-in movies for the rest of the summer season at Riverhead Raceway.
Raceway owners had applied for permission to show drive-in movies on 10 Friday nights on a screen set up in the pit area of the facility. Town officials, concerned about noise impacts on the adjacent Glenwood residential community, were reluctant to grant the approval for the whole summer, electing instead to approach the application in piecemeal fashion. The town board first approved two movie nights and then another two. On Tuesday, the board approved the remaining four dates: Aug. 5, 12, 19 and Sept. 2.
Movies in the Moonlight, which screens outdoor movies for the Riverhead Recreation Department at town parks and beaches, is handling the shows at the raceway. The screenings make use of a temporary “pop-up” screen and a sound system that broadcasts over an AM/FM transmitter that allows patrons to listen to the audios in their vehicles, eliminating the need for any outdoor amplified sound.
Public hearings draw little public comment
Proposals to prohibit parking on the south side of Osborn Avenue between Marcy and Hamilton avenues and to site an indoor recreation facility on Osborn Avenue just south of Pulaski Street drew no public comment at town board public hearings Tuesday afternoon.
The Cage sports development center will offer baseball and softball private lessons, camps and clinics and also team training, said attorney Mary Hartill on behalf of applicant Joseph Cuccia. “Private lessons include batting, pitching, catching, training, speed and agility,” Hartill said.
A public hearing on a proposed Riverhead Water District rate increase was questioned by Calverton resident Sal Mastropaolo, who complained about the town both increasing the dollar rate-per-thousand gallons and also reducing the volume of water the quarterly minimum fee buys.
“I understand the need for an increase in the charges for the excess gallonage usage but I don’t understand why you’re going to compound the increase by lowering the gallons you get with the minimum charge,” he said. “You’re dropping the gallons you get by 25 percent, so a 5-percent increase becomes 7.8-percent increase and 10-percent increase becomes an 11.9-percent increase by lowering the gallons you get with the minimum charge.”
Walter said the current rate structure is more expensive for lower volume users and the town is trying to equalize it.
Young talent on display
Tuesday’s town board meeting featured a brief musical interlude when the 2016 Riverhead Teen Idol contest second-place winner Lia Schellinger of Calverton performed Adele’s “Someone Like You” for the board and audience. This was the 14-year-old’s third year of competing in the annual contest, which bid farewell this year after a decade. Next year, a new contest, “Riverhead’s Got Talent” will make its debut, Councilman James Wooten said.
In other action, the town board Tuesday:
- approved a site plan submitted by the Salvation Army to construct a recreation area on now-vacant land adjacent to its Osborn Avenue offices, including a half-court for basketball and a playground area.
- authorized the installation of an ATM in the Riverhead Justice Court lobby.
- authorized the creation of a helicopter noise task force and appointed the following members to two-year terms: Sid Bail, Connie Carlin, Ken Daland, Donna Henvey, Janice LaRuso, Tommy Lassandro and Elaine McDuffy. Councilman Tim Hubbard, who pitched the idea of forming the group, was named its liaison.
- appointed a planning aide to the planning department, Gregory Berman.
- appointed a provisional water treatment plant operator trainee, Daniel Keller Jr.
- re-hired Rob Hubbs as an independent contractor to perform GIS and AutoCAD remote services in connection with various town projects.
The town board also honored National Night Out poster contest winners: Jaiveon Lee,
Aiden Bahner, Jake Davis, Bailey Godsey, Kaitlyn Guzman, Grace Hills, Sadie Schultz
and Gabrielle Thornton with town board proclamations and prizes donated by local businesses.
The board also recognized Riverhead Stop and Shop and People’s United Bank for donating new benches for Grangebel Park.