The Town of Smithtown wants to proceed with the construction of a recreational facility in the industrial zone north of Old Northport Road in Kings Park despite pending sewage treatment issues.
The town board will meet April 24 to discuss approving the 44.4-acre project in phases, which would allow Prospect Sports Partners LLC, of Farmingdale to build five sports fields and an indoor fitness center while sewage treatment options for a medical building are considered.
The project is expected to create 200 full-time jobs and establish several fields for young athletes. But it faces delays over whether it can connect to the Kings Park sewage treatment plant or if it will have to build its own treatment system -- a question that can only be answered by a Suffolk County Health Department inspection.
That inspection is the weakest link in the approval process, said Smithtown planning director Frank DeRubeis.
On Feb. 26, Prospect Sports co-owner Ken Henderson submitted a petition to the town asking to be allowed to build the nonmedical parts of the facility without delay. Since the medical building would attract the majority of traffic, the petition says, the project's other components, such as baseball or soccer fields, would not require a sewage treatment facility to begin construction.
"The town likely will grant a special exception" to build the nonmedical parts of the facility now, said Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio. "It will lessen demand on existing ballfields, and in general it's a super upgrade to what is now an industrial area."
The prediction of approval comes as a relief to more than 1,000 local athletes, many of whom often cancel or reschedule games because there aren't enough fields to meet everyone's needs, said John McQuaid of the Kings Park Youth Athletic Association.
"We have athletes going all over Long Island to find a field they can play on," McQuaid said. "The fact that . . . will be in our backyard is very positive."
DeRubeis predicted the project "should begin by the spring of next year."