More than 200 cars raced on one of the Calverton Enterprise Park runways Aug. 21, 2021 in the first installment of "Race Track, Not Street" series of drag-racing events in Calverton. Photo: Alek Lewis

Plans for 14 drag racing events at the Calverton Enterprise Park next year gained special event approvals from the Riverhead Town Board Tuesday night.

The board approved two events for Scramble Inc. in April and 12 events for Pete Scalzo during August, September and October next year.

Andre Baxter’s Scramble Inc. has planned “Scrambul: Gaplands” events on on April 1 and April 2. (Rain dates: April 8 and 9.)

Scalzo’s “Summer Classic 2023” is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 19 from 2 to 9:30 p.m., Sunday Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 2 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays Aug. 26, Sept. 2, Sept. 9, Sept. 16, Sept. 23 and Sept. 30. (Rain dates: Aug. 27, Sept. 3, Sept. 10, Sept. 17. Sept. 24 and Oct. 1, all Sundays, from 2 to 9:30 p.m.)

Scalzo’s fall series, dubbed “2023 Run What Ya Brung,” is planned for Saturdays, Oct. 7, Oct. 14, Oct 21 and Oct. 28, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Rain dates: Sundays, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.)

‘Subject to the pending sale of the property at EPCAL’

The special event approvals, unanimously approved by the board, are subject to a number of conditions, including the execution of a “short term agreement for purposes of the utilization of both runways… no later than 30 days prior to the date of the event (Subject to pending sale of the property at EPCAL.)”

Council Member Tim Hubbard said before voting “if the the property is sold this, you know, obviously this wouldn’t take place, unless you have some kind of agreement with the new owner should there be one.”

It is conceivable that the Town of Riverhead may not own the site by the time the drag racing events take place. The town is in $40 million contract to sell 1,644 acres at the enterprise park, including the runways to Triple Five affiliate, Calverton Aviation & Technology. The closing has been delayed by the town’s inability to obtain final approval of a land subdivision that’s needed to complete the sale. The subdivision approval has been hung up largely due to objections by the State Department of Environmental Conservation over public water supply issues.

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In an effort to expedite the closing, the town recently entered an agreement with the purchaser under which the town and CAT filed a joint application to the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency. If the application is approved — CAT is seeking financial assistance from the IDA — the town will convey its entire remaining land at enterprise park — some 2,100 acres — to the IDA.

It is not clear how quickly that might happen. The IDA is undertaking its own review of the applicant’s wherewithal to complete the project and its own cost-benefit analysis for the plans presented to the IDA last month. It has retained legal counsel for the review and authorized the hiring of a financial consultant for assistance.

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If the IDA approves a financial benefits package for CAT, the town’s recent agreement with CAT requires it to convey its land to the IDA and the drag race promoters would need to have an agreement with the IDA allowing them to hold the events next year.

If the IDA grants financial assistance to CAT and the company manages to obtain get a subdivision approved quickly, and the IDA transfers the land in question to CAT and the town before any of the racing events, the event sponsors would need an agreement with CAT to allow the events to take place.

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