Riverhead Town to gift Calverton land to YMCA group

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | The Riverhead Town Board at a meeting earlier this year.

Riverhead Town officials announced today, Thursday, they would be gifting land in Calverton to the Peconic YMCA group.

The announcement means the local Y group will be scrapping its plans to build a Y facility — complete with a gym and indoor pool — in Aquebogue.

Supervisor Sean Walter said at today’s Town Board work session that the town will gift the land to YMCA, but that he was hoping the YMCA would use the $500,000 the group was going to spend to buy the Aquebogue land on Main Road to tie into the sewer station from the nearby business incubator.

YMCA officials suggested offering annual scholarships instead of the large, one-lump payment, an idea Mr. Walter seemed open to.

“Nobody should get the idea that we had half a million dollars sitting there,” said Joe Van de Wetering of the Peconic YMCA group.

The Peconic Y group had faced stiff opposition from Jamesport and Aquebogue residents over building on an 8-acre site on the south side of Main Road. The proposal even helped spark a spirited “Save Main Road” anti-development campaign still in action today.

Councilman James Wooten said that “in a perfect world,” the Y would have been located in the heart of Riverhead.

Y officials are hoping the measure would be put to vote at next Tuesday’s Town Board meeting.

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