All eyes are on the MTA Long Island Railroad Station train station in Riverhead this week, as Town Supervisor Sean Walter said some "big" plans could possibly be on the table for the train stop.
Walter said he recently had a conversation with MTA Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams, who said the MTA and town can work together on a "broad-based" request for proposals on possible businesses that might be sited at the train station.
One "big" plan, Walter said, could involve "scoot" trains between Riverhead and Greenport. Recently, during the Tall Ships festival in Greenport, trains between the two municipalities were "tremendously successful," Walter said, except for a delay caused by a car parked against the tracks in Greenport.
But the service, Walter said, would be welcomed by residents. Also on the table are suggestions as to what type of business would be sited at the train station.
"The MTA is going to be very open-ended as to what we can put there," Walter said.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said it might be a good idea to site a donut shop or other franchise in the building, which hasn't been used as a train station depot in decades.
Another use, Councilman John Dunleavy said, might be an office for the Long Island Wine Council, where information could be distributed to tourists about the area's wine country.
Giglio said if the plans proceed, an antique train that is not running should be removed from the train tracks and possiby moved to the Railroad Museum of Long Island on Griffing Avenue.
The board also discussed the "lewd" and sometimes criminal activity that sometimes takes place by the train station. Numerous police report arrests indicate arrests for public urination and drinking out of open containers in the area.
To that end, Walter said the town will be putting up at least one Port A Potty, to mitigate the public uriniaton issue that is problematic.
"We want to make sure the train station is clean and neat," Walter said. "We have a problem with people using the area in the back of the building in inappropriate ways. It really is horrific."
In recent years, the train station became a center of controversy after Walter shuttered a soup kitchen that had been operating on the site. Walter said at the time that the train station was not the ideal place for a soup kitchen to operate; advocates for the homeless who gathered at the building to eat on a daily basis protested the move.
The train station, Dunleavy added, is safe, with police presence stationed in the parking lot or on the platform whenever a train is scheduled to arrive or depart.
Calls to the MTA for further information were not immediately returned.