The Riverhead IDA board of directors at its meeting in May. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Town is seeking volunteers to serve on the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency board of directors.

The town needs to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of board member Larry Simms, who resigned this month after just four months in the position.

The IDA board of directors consists of five people. Its current members are: chairperson Thomas Cruso; Lori Ann Pipczynski; Tony Barresi; and Robert Kern. (See their bios here.)  The agency has one paid staff member, executive director Tracy Stark-James.

The Riverhead IDA, established in 1980, has as its mission to attract new businesses to Riverhead and to help existing businesses expand their operations and remain in Riverhead. It has the authority to issue tax exempt or taxable industrial development bonds, offer real property tax abatements, sales and compensating use tax exemptions, and mortgage recording tax exemptions. In addition, it assists business owners and developers locate suitable sites for development.

An IDA director serves a three-year term. Ideal candidates should possess knowledge of business finance, economic development, planning, government operations and business development, the town supervisor’s office said in a press release. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the Town of Riverhead. Directors serve without compensation.

The IDA board meets once per month, typically the first Monday of every month. The candidate will serve on assigned committees and shall participate in state-approved training regarding their ethical, legal, and fiduciary responsibilities. The candidate must be deemed as an “independent director” in accordance with Section 2825 of the Public Authorities Law.

Interested parties are asked to submit an application to the Riverhead Town Clerk by postal mail to 200 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901 or email [email protected] Download the application form below.

Applications are being accepted until Sept. 14.

Simms was appointed to the IDA board in April. As an outspoken critic of the agency, he was a controversial pick and his appointment came in a split vote of the town board.

Simms subsequently sold his home in South Jamesport and moved to Pittsburgh. He said he was willing to continue to serve on the agency board and noted he still owns property on West Main Street: a 16-acre former duck farm along the Peconic River. But having a primary residence outside of the state made him ineligible to serve on the board, Riverhead IDA attorney Richard Ehlers told RiverheadLOCAL in a July interview. Simms attended the agency’s August meeting but subsequently tendered his resignation.

Town of Riverhead IDA application by RiverheadLOCAL on Scribd

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.