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Next Steps for Riverside Sewer Proposal; Final Report Unveiled

Lisa Finn
Westhampton Patch

After years of discussion a final sewer study report on the Riverside and Flanders area will be unveiled Monday night.

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman is expected to attend a meeting of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association at 7 p.m. at the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders.

At the meeting, a final report will be given about the sewer study, with Schneiderman, along with members of the Suffolk County Department Works and CDM Engineering.
In June, a controversial plan to tap into the Riverhead sewer district was cut down.

In 2011, a meeting was held to discuss the idea, with some believing that sewers could be the key to economic development along Route 24 in Flanders and Riverside. Government officials said at the time that the first step would be to determine what to include in the district and where to put the treatment plant.

Suffolk County set out to analyze the issues in a $250,000 year-long sewer district study with consulting help from Melville-based H2M and Woodbury-based CDM. The county had a dedicated $48 million fund for adding sewer mains in certain areas, but the Southampton Town project would still need outside funding, said Schneiderman at the 2011 FRNCA meeting.

In June, Taldone said both DPW and its consultant, CDM, "have already concluded that connection to the existing Riverhead plant, though desirable from a practical standpoint, simply can't be done due to limited capacity at the plant and downtown Riverhead's need for whatever capacity remains for is own growth."

Instead, Taldone said the new aim is to consider one or more small plants such as the membrane bio reactor (MBR) or other new, high-performance treatment technologies that "can support the revitalization of Riverside while stabilizing or reducing the environmental damage caused by existing septic systems that leach nitrogen and other contaminants into the Peconic River."

He added, "Riverside is not looking to compete with or become another downtown Riverhead. We hope to redevelop in a synergistic way with each area supporting the growth and prosperity of the other."

Next steps include Southampton Town issuing requests for qualifications, to attract developers to consider the redevelopment options.

The sewer and traffic issues will be very important to decisions about density and characteristics of any commercial revitalization, Taldone said. "FRNCA is very supportive of this effort, which has taken off thanks to Supervisor Anna Throne Holst's Riverside Economic Revitalization Committee."