Editorial: Support expansion plans at Peconic Landing facility

09/12/2014 12:00 PM |


Peconic Landing has been a good neighbor. Its residents have been good neighbors. And there’s little reason to believe they’ll continue to be anything but as the lifecare facility moves forward with expansion plans at its property along the Sound in Greenport. 

We support the Planning Board’s interest in facilitating site plan approvals in time for the scheduled Sept. 23 construction start date.

It’s clear that Peconic Landing is addressing issues concerning the expansion’s impact on emergency responders to the best of its ability. And while the concerns of departments outside the Greenport Fire District are noted, any effort to stall the development would be misguided.

As we report this week, police records show that the Greenport Fire Department responded to 168 emergency calls at Peconic Landing in 2013.

Peconic Landing’s CEO, Robert Syron, said projections indicate the facility will generate about 106 calls in 2014, a reduction achieved mostly through training its own staff to handle non-emergency calls. Mr. Syron said that, so far this year, the Greenport Fire Department had made only four mutual aid requests from neighboring departments related to Peconic Landing.

Peconic Landing does not have a record of misleading the public, so we have confidence that any unforeseen spikes in mutual aid calls — something that could very well be a drain on the small fire districts — can be handled through planning, coordination and communication between the center and the fire districts.

The tax revenue this expansion project will generate, as well as the additional construction work and permanent jobs, are of too much value to the region to risk losing.

It would be highly unusual to ask a business to negotiate with outside fire districts in order to receive approval from the town.

Greenport fire officials are on board with Peconic Landing’s plan. That should be enough to get this much-anticipated project rolling.

Editor’s Note: A version of this editorial that appeared in the Sept. 11 edition of the Suffolk Times  stated the Greenport Fire Department will be hiring EMTs whose salaries will be paid for by Peconic Landing. Instead, existing Peconic Landing employees will receive incentives to train to become EMTs. Thirty Peconic Landing employees have expressed an interest in receiving the training and 10 have already been enrolled in the program. We regret the error.