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More Sandy-Damaged Cars Headed To EPCAL

Cars will be sited on a runway utilized by Skydive Long Island.

Even more cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy are headed to Enterprise Park at Calverton.

The Riverhead Town board, at a work session on Thursday, met with Insurance Auto Auction Corp, the same company that has a license agreement to store damaged cars on a 7000 runway at EPCAL.

IAA came before the board for its consent regarding an agreement with Skydive Long Island, to store Hurricane Sandy damaged cars on a 10,000 foot runway at EPCAL.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio questioned whether the price paid was the going rate; IAA representatives said the rate paid would be $3200 an acre; the agreement would only be valid for four months.

Gigli acknowledged "time is of the essence," as there is a dire need to get damaged cars "out of the way" so storm-damaged infrastructure can be repaired.

Councilman John Dunleavy said the influx of cash would be "good for the people of Riverhead" and the influx of tow truck drivers and others to the area would be a boon for the local economy and businesses.

Dunleavy said the cars that are currently being stored on the 7000 foot runway are not visible from the roadway. With the 10,000 foot runway, some cars might be visible, he said, but since the agreement would be only for four months, the situation was palatable.

"Our main goal is to get these cars off the street," he said.

Dunleavy said the cars would also not interfere with the funeral services taking place at Calverton National Cemetery, across the roadway.

The board agreed to approve the proposal.

Earlier in November, the board agreed to allow the much-debated 7000 foot runway at Enterprise Park at Calverton to temporarily store hundreds of cars damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

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, was authorized to use the the runway, taxiway, and other paved areas at EPCAL for the temporary storage of the damaged vehicles.

The area in questions encompassed 52.14 acres; IAA agreed to 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.

Peconic Sunset November 30, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The haste with which this agreement has been entered concerns me. The area is environmentally sensitive, we have an obligation as stewards of the environment to do no harm. What is the monitoring plan to ensure no leakage of toxic chemicals occurs due to salt damaged seals on the vehicles, will fluids be drained and batteries removed, will test wells be needed to ensure there is no contamination of underground water, what is the contingency plan if leakage is found to occur while the cars are legally occupying the area? Just a few questions that merit discussion before proceeding.

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