West Main Street and other New Year goals
Mayor Paul Pontieri and his administration have set goals for 2019, including what will be done with West Main Street as the ending point of the village as well as some infrastructure agenda items and plans to move forward with the parking garage.
West Main Street
Plans to develop West Main Street began last year after hiring 4ward Planning, the company tasked by the Long Island Regional Planning Council with the Village of Patchogue revitalization study.
The West Avenue to River Avenue development moratorium was then extended for an additional six months during the village’s December meeting. The purpose, according to village attorney Brian Egan, is to allow the consultant to make recommendations to the board regarding the best options for rezoning the area.
At present, he said, it is clear that zoning classifications are not encouraging proper economic growth compatible with the rest of Main Street and the investment across the street by Blue Point Brewery.
Once the West Main Street planning study is complete, Pontieri said the board will then take a look at what they want to see down there, potentially including the addition of the much anticipated downtown hotel. The old dialysis center is still an option as well.
“It’s hard to quantify occupied properties down on West Main,” he said, estimating that about 50 percent are vacant with multiple different owners and mixed zoning. “We really need to nail down what we want to create there,” he added, emphasizing that successful businesses such as the steel mill and an auto body shop are safe from any zone changes as long as they shall operate.
According to Egan, multiple meetings have been held between the village and the county regarding the Suffolk County Sixth District Court lot. Currently, he said, they are working on framework to transfer the parking lot to village control and are also evaluating sources of funding before going out to design.
Late last year, the village was awarded a $1 million grant through the New York State Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Program toward the project, in addition to the county’s $1 million contribution as well as existing meter funds. The total project is expected to cost about $7 million and the rest, Pontieri said, will be done at no cost to the taxpayer.
Initially, one deck would be constructed, with the foundations in place to add additional decks in the future, totaling approximately 180 spots per deck. All spots are to be metered in an effort to essentially pay for itself through a 20-year bond or so. Once everything is complete, the hope, he said, is to have the prefab parking garage operational within two years.
West Main Street, according to Egan, will also see a major and much-needed sewer infrastructure upgrade.
“While not as visible as the parking garage, but certainly as valuable, we are proceeding with the reconstruction of the West Main Street sewer mains,” he said. “Like most of our infrastructure, given the growth of our downtown, is in need of a reconstruction.”
Some of the pipes are from the original sewer system and were installed over 100 years ago. They will be reconstructed and enlarged with state-of-the-art material to ensure they last another 100 years, he said.
“Right now, a lot of what we need to do is maintain what we have already done and work on making sure projects are completed,” added Pontieri, explaining that his hope is to also look at housing and the condition of apartment buildings as well as road-paving projects.
Residential sewers will also continue to be placed in South Patchogue. Engineers have been evaluating properties in the project zone and the project will go out to bid for the design phase in late 2019.
Pontieri also wants to see the over $2 million New York Department of State Division of Coastal Resources grant for a living shoreline and boardwalk at Shore Front Park to finally move forward. Plans for a meeting with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation have been scheduled for February.
Also, construction on the east jetty has already begun and should be completed by April 1; an intermunicipal agreement should be made with the Town of Brookhaven to digitalize the village’s paperwork saving space; and village elections will be held in 2020 for mayor Pontieri, deputy mayor Jack Krieger and trustees Lori Devlin and Tom Ferb.
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