After months of controversy about where a new YMCA should be sited, with scores of on Main Road in Aquebogue, the new facility has found a home at Enterprise Park at Calverton.
"Congratulaitions, this issue is done," Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said at Thursday's town board work session. "Welcome to Calverton."
Fritz Trinklein, director of strategic planning for YMCA of Long Island, and members of the Peconic YMCA board were onhand to vet various points of the plan, including sewage issues.
Trinklein confirmed talks have been positive. "We did have some good movement," he said. He added that in return for the conveyance of land from the town, the YMCA would offer, in compensation, a scholarship of $25,000 yearly in perpetuity for Riverhead students.
"That sounds wonderful," Walter said, adding that down the line, the YMCA would have to utilize funds to address sewage. He suggested that the YMCA consider utilizing the $500,000 in funds they might have used to purchase the Aquebogue parcel.
"It's not like we have half a million sitting there," Peconic YMCA chairman Joe Van de Wetering said.
Walter said the YMCA would be responsible for sewering the facility.
"Unfortunately, the town doesn't have an extra quarter of a million dollars to sewer this lot."
Councilman Jim Wooten was in favor of the YMCA in Riverhead. "I always thought locally would been a perfect choice," he added. One proposal was to site the YMCA near Stotsky Park. But, he said, given economic factors, the location is a good choice and viable.
Councilman John Dunleavy said building a YMCA at the site would also promote new visitors to the parcel and provide an opportunity on the long history of the former Grumman Corp. property.
State cooperation is critical moving forward, Trinklein said, adding he forsees a good relationship between the YMCA and the Calverton Business Incubator. "We're hoping to be very good neighbors."
Walter said with a full scale environmental statement still underway and not expected to be completed until next year, there is a year left before the parcel can be conveyed. "You're a year out," he said.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio added that a year is less time than it would have taken to site the parcel in Aquebogue.
But, the supervisor added, he wanted the board to commit the parcel to the YMCA. "I'd like to put this to rest," he said.
The board agreed to move forward at Tuesday's town board meeting with two resolutions that would get the ball rolling. "This will ensure we have peace of mind that it's not going to Aquebogue," or somewhere else, Walter said.
Dunleavy added that the YMCA will create jobs in the area.