Islip officials plan to use a recently restored $2 million state grant to spruce up the streetscape of Brentwood's commercial district, officials have announced.
The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York awarded Brentwood the grant for downtown revitalization, and it will be used to install and repair sidewalks, curbing, cross walks, parking and facade improvements, town officials said.
The project's funding was cut in 2010 when outgoing Democrats cut a slough of programs before leaving Albany. State Sen. Lee Zeldin, a Republican who represents the area, worked to restore the funding.
"I am proud to have been able to secure a full restoration of this grant for the Town of Islip," Zeldin said in a statement announcing the grant last week. "This grant will help many small businesses in Brentwood by attracting more customers and providing easier access to stores."
The improvements, designed to enhance pedestrian access to storefronts, target Brentwood Road; First, Second and Third avenues; First, Third and Eighth streets; from the railroad station to Brentwood High School.
Raymond Mayo, executive director of the Brentwood Association of Concerned Citizens, said business owners are excited about the planned changes, which include improving storefronts to appear "in unison" with one another. "We're raring to go and ready to get some ground broken," Mayo said. "It will make it look nicer and give a warmer welcoming to Brentwood."
Islip Town officials could not say when the project will begin.
"Downtown Brentwood represents a hub of small-business activity in Islip Town, and there are many improvements to local infrastructure that have to be made to create a thriving economic area," Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci said in a statement. "Senator Zeldin's hard work in Albany to secure this grant will provide immediate relief to Brentwood's hard working businesses and clientele."
Last year, the project received $45,000 in Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Program funds, which also have been allocated to Bayport-Blue Point, Sayville, Islip, West Islip, Bay Shore and Central Islip for similar projects.