The Riverhead Town Board at its Oct. 2 meeting. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Former town engineer Ken Testa is returning to town government.

Testa, Riverhead’s first town engineer, is coming back to the engineering department temporarily to plug a gap left by the resignation of assistant town engineer Ernesto Rosini. Rosini has resigned effective Nov. 15.

Testa, who was hired by the town in January 1990, retired in July 2016.

Testa will serve as a temporary part-time assistant town engineer for a period not to exceed 90 work days, at an hourly rate of $50, according to a resolution approved by the town board Oct. 2.

Former Riverhead Water District Superintendent Mark Conklin will be staying on as a consultant to the water district through the end of the year. Conklin, who retired July 2, previously signed on to serve as a consultant to the district through Sept. 30, but was asked by the new district superintendent, Frank Mancini, to stay on through the end of the year. The town board previously put a cap of $30,000 on the amount Conklin could earn as a consultant and the cap hasn’t been reached, Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said in an interview today.

“It’s a big system,” the supervisor said. Conklin is working to bring Mancini up to speed, she said.

The town board approved the contract extension at its Oct. 2 meeting.

The water district remains without an assistant superintendent, after canvassing the Civil Service list and failing to find a candidate who would accept the starting salary of $94,000 set by the town. The town plans to raise the salary and re-canvass the list, Jens-Smith said.

In other action at last week’s meeting the town board:

  • awarded a $675,000 contract to a planning consultant firm for the preparation of a new master plan;
  • scheduled an Oct. 16 public hearings on the site plan and special permit for a proposed four-story, 36-unit apartment building at 331 East Main Street (the former site of a Subway sandwich shop.
  • scheduled an Oct. 16 public hearing on proposed amendments to Chapter 217 of the town code pertaining to housing standards;
  • scheduled an Oct. 16 public hearing on the disbursement of funds through the Community Development Block Grant program;
  • approved a special permit and administrative site plan amendment for the Howell House at 420 East Main Street;
  • established a $70,000 budget for the purchase and installation of a new boiler at Riverhead Town Hall, transferring the funds from a parks and recreation line for playground equipment, according to the resolution approved Oct. 2;
  • accepted the retirement of Riverhead Justice Court clerk Brenda Sickler;
  • appointed three traffic control specialists;
  • voted down, 3-2, a resolution moving ahead with the environmental review process for a code revision to allow outdoor storage of automobiles by car dealers in the Industrial A zoning use district — council members James Wooten, Jodi Giglio and Tim Hubbard objected, arguing that the Industrial C zoning use district should be included in the code change;
  • presented Thomas Pipczynski Jr. of Local 1298 with a certificate of appreciation for his role in conducting a training session for traffic control officers in Riverhead.

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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.