Penalties for illegal dumping have gotten a bit tougher in Riverhead. Stock photo: Adobe Stock

Penalties for illegally dumping solid waste in Riverhead Town are getting a bit tougher.

The town board last week amended the solid waste code to impose penalties for “solid waste generators or individuals” who are first-time violators of the prohibition against dumping solid waste on public or private lands. The code previously provided no penalty for first-time offenders, instead providing that upon a first conviction, the violator would receive a written warning. Now, first-time violators face a fine of $100 to $250 per violation.

A second conviction within one year will be punishable by a fine of $250 to $500. A third and each subsequent conviction within a year will be punishable by a fine of $500 to $1,000.

Penalties for “waste collectors” — any person engaged in the business of collecting solid waste and/or recyclable materials or rendering solid waste and/or recycling services — were unchanged by the code amendment. Waste collectors who are convicted of violating the town’s solid waste code face fines of $500 to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to 15 days for each violation.In other action at the Dec. 4 meeting, the town board:

The former bank building currently being renovated by Michelangelo’s Pizzeria.
Photo: Peter Blasl

Approved a site plan amendment for Michelangelo’s Pizzeria to allow the owner to substitute “EIFS” — exterior insulation and finish system — for polished marble on the facade as stated in the site plan approval granted by the town board in October. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio opposed the amendment, stating that it contradicted the specific recommendations of the Landmarks Preservation Committee. The 1960s-era building, originally a bank, is located in the Main Street Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Ratified a Community Development Block Grant application for fiscal year 2019 seeking $200,000 in federal funding to be distributed in $8,000 grants to Bread and More Soup Kitchen, Open Arms Soup Kitchen, Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Dominican Sisters, Maureen’s Haven, Butterfly Effect Project and Council for Unity. Funding of $74,000 would be directed to the town’s home improvement program, which assists senior citizens and low- to moderate-income homeowner-occupants with emergency home repairs. An additional $70,000 would be earmarked for pedestrian improvements.

Changed the start time for the town board’s evening meetings in 2019 from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. The board’s second regular meeting of the month is typically held in the evening, while its first regular monthly meeting is held in the afternoon, with a two o’clock start time. Regular meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, with some exceptions. For example, when the regular meeting day is the day after a holiday, the meeting is typically switched to Wednesday.

Approved the purchase of two dump trucks for the highway department, a 2014 Kenworth T370 Dump Truck from Suffolk County Brake Service for $175,000 and a 2019 Ford F550 Dump Truck from Gabrielli Truck Sales for $67,547.

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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.