Land sale to private rail has Yaphank neighbors worried

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YAPHANK - A land sale aimed at bringing much-needed money into cash-starved Suffolk County has Yaphank residents concerned.The county plans to sell 230 acres of land to Oakland Transportation Holdings, a private rail company that runs the nearby Brookhaven Rail Terminal. If the company expands and purchases the adjacent land, Suffolk County could pull in about $20 million, money that County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Suffolk) has already factored into his budget. However, environmental groups are concerned about what the development will mean for the Carmans River, which runs through the property. And neighbors are concerned about possible noise, traffic and pollution that could disrupt the small-town feel of their area. Representatives from Oakland Transportation say shipping goods by train is better for the environment than shipping by truck. The full county Legislature could vote on the sale as early as next week.

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