The much-debated 7000 foot runway at Enterprise Park at Calverton will be used to temporarily store hundreds of cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
On Thursday, the Riverhead Town board voted unanimously to authorize the Riverhead Community Development Agency to enter into a license agreement for the use of the runway and taxiway areas at EPCAL for the temporary storage of cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Due to flooding that led to the damage of over 200,000 cars in the New York area, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Nov. 6 mandating the removal of debris in regions devastated by the storm.
To that end, Insurance Auto Auctions Corp., a public salvage auto auction company, will be using the runway, taxiway, and other paved areas at EPCAL for the temporary storage of the damaged vehicles.
The area in questions encompasses 52.14 acres; IAA will pay $3200 an acre per month for the use of the area for an initial period of six months, with two, three-month extensions possible.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said because the vehicles will be placed on asphalt and concrete, the proposal poses no problem; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, he stressed, has said damaged vehicles should not be placed in yards, or on any impervious survace.
It has not yet been decided if auctions will be held on the property; the company may just screen sales at its Medford location, depending on the town's wishes. Cars will be brought to EPCAL from across New York's five boroughs, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Approximately 150 cars should be able to fit on an acre.
For months, motorsports advocates have expressed their wishes for a drag strip at EPCAL.