Patchogue Village parking garage gets funding boost from county
An additional $625,000 has been secured by Legis. Rob Calarco to help build a parking garage behind the Suffolk County Sixth District Court.

File photo

Patchogue Village parking garage gets funding boost from county

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
10/3/2019


Another $625,000 was secured for the possibility of a prefabricated parking garage located behind the Suffolk County Sixth District Court in Patchogue Village, in addition to the original $1 million state grant and last year’s $1 million jump-start grant, as of last night’s meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature. The measure passed unanimously.

Suffolk County Legis. and deputy presiding officer Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) voted to secure the monies through this year’s jump-start grant, which will also support about five additional projects throughout the county. The grant, according to Calarco, is intended to provide resources to municipalities to help further their downtown growth. 

“Here in Patchogue we have had a lot of growth, but that butts up against the issue of accommodating enough parking for the needs of people who want to come here,” he explained of the reason for applying for the grant. “It will pass, there is no reason it shouldn’t,” said Calarco on Tuesday night prior to the vote.

Patchogue was originally awarded $1 million as part of the county’s jump-start grant over a year ago, as well as a $1 million grant through the New York State Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Program. Both have since been set aside for parking. 

However, the first county grant was originally intended for the parking lot located behind Bargain Bilge on Lake Street, on land that would have been acquired through condemnation. The owners of that property fought the process and are currently trying to develop the property. A resolution will have to be passed to transfer that funding for the garage at the new location.

The idea for a parking garage behind the court on West Main Street arose sometime last year, after difficulties acquiring that property occurred. An intermunicipal agreement, according to Calarco, is currently in the works.

“It looks like the county is going to transfer the property to the village so that they can own and operate the whole thing,” he explained, noting that the village will have to allow ample and free parking to accommodate the courthouse during business hours.

The cost of construction is estimated at about $6 to $7 million, and almost half has been secured. According to mayor Paul Pontieri, a prefab structure was decidedly the way to go while looking for the least expensive and intrusive way to add additional parking. It is also much quicker to build, he said, meaning the lot will be laid up for a much shorter period of time. 

Initially, one deck would be constructed, with the foundations in place to add additional decks in the future, totaling approximately 180 spots per deck. Each additional deck would have a cost as well, with the anticipation of adding one or two more as needed. All spots are to be metered in an effort to essentially pay for itself through a 20- to 30-year bond. Pontieri anticipates the garage will generate about $150,000-$175,000 a year. 

“The goal is to have no impact on the resident taxpayer,” he explained.

Once the property is acquired, the project can be designed and will go out to bid. Construction and design, Pontieri said, could take up to a year or so to begin. Once completed, the parking garage would be open to the public and those visiting the courthouse for free during the day and metered parking would go into effect after 6 p.m. 

Pontieri also said the village has been in talks with National Grid about possibly leasing or acquiring their property located just west of the county lot for potentially more parking. National Grid is currently cleaning up that site and, once completed, the village will hopefully be able to create more parking for the Main Street employees, who can be shuttled back and forth.

“If we can get 100 employee cars out of municipal lots, that’s a lot more cars we can fit for people visiting our businesses,” he added.