After years of failed projects and nixed plans, including a raceway and an artificial ski mountain, revitalization efforts are bringing new life to Enterprise Park at Calverton.
New York State Senator Kenneth Lavalle has drafted legislation to create a new revitalization commission to promote redevelopment at EPCAL and streamline the process for new businesses hoping to set up shop on the 2900 acre parcel, where the former Grumman Corp was once located.
Although the bill is in draft form and could change, its aim is to streamline the permit process and expedite redevelopment of EPCAL.
The legislation, said LaValle, "provides incentives to attract private businesses to locate and expand and insures consistency with existing law and achieves economic growth for the region."
The new Enterprise Park at Calverton Revitalization Commission would be made up of 7 voting members, including the Riverhead town board, a representative appointed by the governor, and one appointed by the Suffolk County Executive. In addition, two nonvoting members would represent local civic and service organizations in Riverhead.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said the hope is that the legislation will be voted upon and moved forward during the current term. The commission, Walter said, will make EPCAL appealing not only on a local level, but on an international playing field. "When you are dealing not only with million dollar, but billion dollar investors," providing an expedited process can offer some certainty, Walter said. And in addition, the supervisor added, the commission will be able to offer an "umbrella permit" that will ensure environmental protections.
The Commission would have the power to make applications for permits, licenses and approvals to the appropriate county, state, and federal agencies and, if the applications are consistent with the EPCAL revitalization plan, grant approvals within 90 days and push them forward to the next step in the building department, streamlining the process. "That's the key," Walter said.
EPCAL has been the focus of town board discussion in recent weeks; the board agreed recently would be sited at the parcel and also, discussed.