Rocky Point slated for $1.2-million revitalization

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Rocky Point's struggling downtown commercial district is slated for a $1.2-million revitalization project that community leaders hope will attract new businesses.

Officials announced Monday that funding is expected to come from state, Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town budgets.

Work is expected to begin next spring, said town Councilwoman Jane Bonner.

The town Highway Department has set aside $720,000 for the project, and the state has committed to spending $500,000, officials said. In addition, the county Legislature is scheduled to vote Tuesday on awarding a $50,000 grant for the project.

The money is expected to pay for sidewalk improvements, curb cuts to assist disabled pedestrians, and new traffic signals.

Bonner, a Rocky Point resident, said merchants had been reluctant to expand without the upgrades.

"Downtown Rocky Point struggled with the recession just like other downtowns," she said. "They were looking for the investment from the multiple layers of government before they could invest themselves."

State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) said $200,000 in state money would come from a fund for highway projects, and $300,000 would come from a state capital projects budget.

Residents feared that potential customers were passing through without patronizing local stores and restaurants, said Rocky Point Civic Association president Charlie Bevington. "We want to slow people down and take a look," he said.

County Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) said Rocky Point businesses are mainly "basic mom-and-pop shops that have been struggling to survive, and hopefully this will give it a shot in the arm."

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