More than $2.4M in economic development grants awarded to area

Luminati Aerospace Calverton UAV

New York State played Santa Claus for local municipalities and developers Thursday, doling out $62 million in grant money on Long Island, with the Riverhead, Southold and Riverside communities all on the receiving end. 

The money comes from the Long Island Regional Economic Council, one of 10 regional economic development councils statewide, each of which has given grant awards in December for the past six years.

The biggest award locally, and tied for the highest dollar amount on Long Island, was $1 million given to Luminati Aerospace in Calverton.

The Empire State Development grant will go toward Luminati’s effort to expand its development and manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles at Riverhead Town’s Enterprise Park at Calverton, according to a press release. State officials said

the project “will enhance the renewal of Long Island’s Aerospace industry.”

The following is a list of local awards:

Riverhead Town’s Athletic Trail at EPCAL

The money will go toward the completion of the Vietnam Veterans Recreational Trail, which currently is only paved for about three of the targeted eight miles needed to circle the EPCAL site.

Bay to Sound Trails Initiative Phase II

The Town of Southold plans to add trails, boardwalks, wildlife viewing areas, parking, kiosks and educational materials at a newly acquired open space parcel as part of an interconnected series of trails stretching from Peconic Bay to Long Island Sound in Southold and Greenport. Dilapidated structures and septic systems will be removed and the area will be restored to a natural state. A section of a creek will also be restored for habitat and fish passage, officials say. In addition, clean-ups and citizen science opportunities at the site will involve the public in stewardship, according to the plan.

East End Tourism Alliance

The EETA is headed by Bryan DeLuca of Atlantis Holdings in Riverhead and the funding will be used to create a virtual tourism resource exclusively for the East End. The project involves the production of a series of video clips that will enable prospective visitors to “sample” and “experience” tour packages, attractions and events before booking their trips, according to officials.

Downtown Riverhead EastEnd Market

North to South Real Estate LLC, headed by Woolworth Revitalization developer Michael Butler, seeks to convert the vacant, deteriorating former West Marine building in downtown Riverhead into the Riverhead East End Market, which will serve as a food market and production center, according to officials.

Satur Farms

Satur Farms, located in Cutchogue, will acquire new machinery and modify existing equipment for the processing and packing of field-grown leafy green salads, officials say. Satur Farms also has a location in Calverton.

Riverhead Sewer District

Southampton Town received $30,000 that it plans to use to complete an engineering report to evaluate the option of building a new wastewater treatment facility to serve the Riverside Brownfield Opportunity Area. Improved sewage treatment is seen as key to the proposed redevelopment of Riverside, which is considered to be one of the poorest and most economically distressed hamlets on Long Island, and where prior attempts at development have been hampered by its proximity to wetlands, pine barrens and open space parkland.

Family Community Life Center

The money will be used in the Phase 2 Feasibility Study for a sewer pump station for the proposed affordable apartments and Community Life Center. The project would be on land owned by First Baptist Church of Riverhead, whose Pastor, Reverend Charles Coverdale, has been trying to build the center since the 1980s. It also includes plans for an indoor pool and other recreation facilities, along with space for child care, classrooms and adult day care.

Caption: A Luminate pilot flies a plane above EPCAL. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

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