Hearing set on plan to pay for pipe in Wyandanch

The Town of Babylon's historical society has had The Town of Babylon's historical society has had its focus on Wyandanch for the past year, with an effort to learn as much as possible about the town's early days. (Feb. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

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Babylon Town officials have scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday on a plan to create an assessment area in Wyandanch and finance a water main pipe there if the area's revitalization fails to produce enough new residents to pay for the work.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is constructing and installing more than 4,000 feet of a 12-foot-wide water main pipe in downtown Wyandanch. The SCWA's work -- to be paid for by the town -- is estimated to cost almost $600,000, said town spokesman Kevin Bonner.

The pipe is being built in an area that is the center of the town's Wyandanch Rising redevelopment, a planned $500-million public-private downtown revitalization that has been more than a decade in the making.

Next month, Bonner said, master developer Albanese Organization Inc. of Garden City plans to break ground for two buildings with apartment and retail space just north of the Long Island Rail Road station.

In a proposal still being worked out, a percentage of the water rates for residents and businesses in those structures would be given to the town as credit to help defray the costs of the water main work, said SCWA spokesman Tim Motz. The town would have a multiyear repayment plan, which he said was a common arrangement with municipalities.

With the development unlikely to reach capacity for several years, town officials plan to tap into the part-town fund to pay any remainder owed to SCWA, said Doug Jacob, a town consultant. He said the town anticipates the money from the water rates eventually will satisfy the town's payments to the SCWA and replenish the money used from the fund.

The public hearing is scheduled at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Babylon Town Hall in Lindenhurst.

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