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Mar 14, 2018 7:13 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Discusses Plans For Waterfront Park In Riverside

Director of Planning and Development Kyle Collins during Thursday's work session. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Mar 14, 2018 11:29 AM

The Southampton Town Board is working with a community association to design a trail in a proposed Riverside park that would lead to the Peconic River.

A conceptual design for the new 14-acre park, called the Riverside Maritime Trail, was presented by Southampton Town Director of Planning and Development Kyle Collins during a recent work session. The plan showed a trail that begins at Flanders Road, next to the McDonald’s, and leads up to the river. Specific details bout the trail, including its length and what it would be made from, have not yet been determined.

Mr. Collins said he expects the approximately 10-foot-wide trail to run $15,000, adding that the project would be funded through a $50,000 state Department of Environmental Conservation grant previously awarded to the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, or FRNCA.

According to preliminary projections, the park could be under construction as early as 2019.

On Thursday, March 15, the Town Board is expected to approve a resolution allowing it to seek bids from companies interested in designing the park and trail.

Mr. Collins—as well as Deputy Town Supervisor Frank Zappone and Town Planning Director Dave Wilcox, who were also at the recent work session—stressed that the trail plans presented last week were still preliminary.

The trail is just one desired amenity of the future park. FRNCA President Vince Taldone said in an interview this week that he envisions a recreational destination that would encourage people to walk around and enjoy nature in Riverside.

“We want something natural, very low key,” Mr. Taldone said, “but a place where people can walk.”

In addition to a walking trail and benches, Mr. Taldone said he wants to see the park cleared of invasive weeds and other plants—work that, he said, would lead to the restoration of the Peconic River’s shoreline. Officials noted that Suffolk County often dumped dredging spoils along the hamlet’s waterfront, which sits opposite of downtown Riverhead.

He said he hopes creating public access to the Peconic River in Riverside will prompt more people to stop polluting the body of water.

Mr. Taldone added that the $50,000 grant secured by FRNCA should cover most of the park construction. Of those funds $7,000 was allotted to hire Crowdsourced Placemaking Group of New York City to complete community outreach to see what Riverside residents want the park to look like. The same firm helped with outreach for the recent Riverside Revitalization plans.

The remaining $43,000 will go toward developing a plan for the park and its actual construction.

“It’s a lot to do for not a ton of money,” Mr. Taldone said. “But it’s enough to do the job.”

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Who owns the property that these trails would be built ? Is this NYS or Southampton Town property?
By knitter (1623), Southampton on Mar 14, 18 9:21 AM
When will the car junk yard in the Gate Way to Flanders Rt 24 clean up.If it is in compliance with Town Code so be it,if not when will it be brought into compliance
By watchdog1 (515), Southampton on Mar 14, 18 3:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Putting in a puny "park" won't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.
By Babyboo (265), Hampton Bays on Mar 15, 18 6:46 PM
HB park, not finished. New park on canal, park in Flanders? Jay start shaking the money tree, seems you think there is one.
Please finish one project before beginning another.
By knitter (1623), Southampton on Mar 15, 18 8:12 PM