(HAUPPAUGE, NY-September 15, 2014)—County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Legislator Bill Lindsay III, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and labor and community representatives to announce a proposed $5 million in funding for four major infrastructure projects which are expected to create thousands of jobs, encourage economic growth and facilitate the development of transit-oriented downtowns. The projects, which are located in the Town of Brookhaven (Ronkonkoma Hub), Town of Babylon (Wyandanch Rising), Town of Huntington (Huntington Station), and the Town of Smithtown (Smithtown Central Business District), are part of Suffolk County’s ‘Jumpstart’ program, a comprehensive economic development plan to encourage, foster and enhance the planning and development of regionally significant developments in and around Suffolk’s downtowns.
"We call these funds Jumpstart because they are designed to provide a jolt to our economy and create jobs,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “Investments in our infrastructure today are investments in the quality of life for future generations. These projects will put people to work and provide the much needed framework for vibrant downtowns right here in Suffolk County.”
Jumpstart Suffolk program is sponsored by Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning and is intended to promote mixed-used residential and commercial developments that maximize access to public transportation. The Jumpstart funding resolutions were introduced on Tuesday, September 9 and will be up for a vote in front of the County Legislature on Tuesday, October 7.
Presiding Officer Legislator DuWayne Gregory noted, “These projects will help promote the long term economic growth of Suffolk County and encourage our youth to stay, live and work here in our County. I hope for the legislature to vote for this legislative package.”
All Jumpstart projects set to receive funding meet the County's stated criteria for economic development projects that include a focus on transit-oriented development in and around downtowns.
The Town of Brookhaven: $2,300,000 – Ronkonkoma Hub
“The vision that the County Executive has spelled out is a vision to help reinvent Long Island so that we can survice as we go forward in the 21st century,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. “It will provide the opportunity to revitalize the area, creating a vibrant place for current and future Long Islanders to live. I thank the County for providing the funding to make this a reality.”
“This isn’t a project we should do, is a project we have to do,” said Legislator Bill Lindsay III. “We have to building communities that young people want to live in to reverse the negative trends.”
Dick O’Kane, President of Nassau/Suffolk Building Trades, added “we fully support this project as it will create quality union jobs that our members can be proud of.”
“Our responsibility to the community is to create great, lasting jobs,” said Roger Clayman, Executive Director at the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Projects like this make the dream of getting new people into our building trades and unions a reality.”
The Ronkonkoma Hub redevelopment plan is a transit-oriented development, which includes mixed-use housing and walkable community to serve as the Gateway to eastern Long Island. Project funding will be used for road widening, utility relocation, site engineering, survey/topo of the development area, design for grading and drainage plans, water distribution systems and storm water compliance.
Town of Babylon: $2,250,000 – Wyandanch Rising
“This funding for Wyandanch Rising will further the progress of this transformational project,” said Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaeffer. “By working together with our residents as well as our County, State, and Federal partners, the Wyandanch Rising project has become a model of how to properly invest and uplift a community.”
Wyandanch Rising is the first major transit oriented development in the ground on Long Island. This comprehensive, community-based revitalization calls for the redevelopment of the area surrounding the Wyandanch Train Station into a walkable, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environment. The County will fund up to $2,250,000 to offset supportive infrastructure costs, including curbs, pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, and electric, utilities, and drainage.
Town of Smithtown: $200,000 –Smithtown Central Business District
“These funds will ensure our downtowns are safer and more attractive,” said Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio. “I thank County Executive Bellone for proposing to invest in Smithtown and hope the legislature will vote in favor of these much needed funds.”
The scope of the work includes pedestrian calmings, curbside and roadwork, removal of obsolete curb cuts, placement of brick pavers, plantings and removal of hazards and obstacles. The goal is to tie the railroad station to the central business district.
Town of Huntington - $250,000 – Huntington Station
“This project will help relieve traffic and parking problems and make our downtown safer,” said Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone. “I look forward to working with the County to ensure this critical infrastructure project is completed.”
Funding will go towards the development of a parking structure as well as funding to assist potential parking subsidies for commercial properties and hotels.
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