Waste plant to be demolished

The abandoned scavenger waste facility off Moore’s Lane in Greenport, overgrown with weeds, will be demolished by the town, which built it on village land in the 1990s.

The decaying scavenger waste treatment plant on Moores Lane in Greenport will likely be demolished this fall, after years of squabbling between Southold Town and Greenport Village over who is responsible for the plant’s failure to work as it was supposed to.

Southold Town built the facility on Greenport Village land in the late 1990s to collect waste delivered by cesspool trucks from throughout town, treat it initially and then send it on to the village’s sewage plant for final treatment.

In the ensuing years, the facility was plagued with problems and cited by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for causing an increased level of nitrogen in water flowing out of the sewage treatment plant. The village claimed the town had built the plant incorrectly, while the town claimed the village was not operating it properly.

The plant has been closed in phases over the past several years, and the village has implored the town to remove the plant from its land. Cesspool companies in Southold have been unloading their waste at a plant in Riverhead since the Greenport plant closed.

The Town Board is expected on September 7 to approve a resolution accepting the bid of the Medford firm D. F. Stone Contracting to demolish the plant, at a cost to the town of $673,498.

Town Engineer James Richter said Friday that, if contract negotiations with D. F. Stone go smoothly, work could begin three or four weeks after the bid is awarded. He said that the demolition will be a straightforward operation that will not require oversight from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“It’s a shame that a reasonably new building of this type is being demolished so soon,” he said.

Greenport Village has floated several ideas for the property over the past several years, including using the land for a scrap oil facility or a composting site. Southold Town had proposed leasing the property to a private operator in 2007, but that action would have required upgrades to process the high volume of waste brought in by cesspool service companies.

Mr. Richter was unsure whether Riverhead’s scavenger waste plant will continue to operate much longer. If it were to close, cesspool trucks would probably have to drive to Bergen Point in Babylon, he said, and unload at a county-owned treatment facility.

Greenport Mayor David Nyce said that the Village Board has not begun to discuss what to do with the site, but board members hope it will become an income-producing property.

“Obviously, the village needs to make as much money as we can,” he said. “As the clean-up is finalized, we will put together an RFP [request for proposal], but it’ll be a little while. There’s quite a bit of infrastructure there.”

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