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Hicksville property eyed for park may become bus parking lot

A view of a vacant lot on Engel

A view of a vacant lot on Engel Street in Hicksville. The expected new owner plans to use the space to park buses, Thursday, Jan 18, 2018. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

An Oyster Bay Town-owned property in Hicksville that had been considered for recreational use may become a bus parking lot, a spokesman for the expected new owner said.

The town board approved the sale of 50 Engel St. to the highest of two bidders, Hicksville Bus Lot LLC. The board voted 5-2 at its Jan. 9 meeting in favor of the $3.1 million bid.

“Hicksville Bus Lot LLC, a member of the Trans Group family of bus organizations, plans to park school buses on the site,” a spokesman for the Spring Valley-based company said in a statement. The companies are controlled by John Corr Jr., who owns a majority stake in them, the spokesman said.

The town board approved the sale pending the execution of a contract and potentially a public referendum.

The referendum, which was mentioned in the board resolution, is not required by state law unless residents successfully petition for one.

Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony Macagnone, who voted against the sale and later said it should be subject to a referendum, said at the meeting “the people of Hicksville deserve a park.”

“The people of Hicksville asked for a parkland and that’s why we spent the money on that property,” Macagnone said.

Councilwoman Michele Johnson also voted against the sale. Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia and Councilman Louis Imbroto said some or all of the money raised from the sale should go toward projects in Hicksville.

The town purchased the property in 2013 for $2.5 million using bond proceeds from a fund restricted for preserving open space and recreational uses. Assuming the sale is completed, $2.5 million must be returned to that fund and the town may use the remainder for other purposes.

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino last year announced the town would sell the property after Elia Lizza, chief executive of Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving, and others including former town Supervisor John Venditto, were indicted in an alleged bribery scheme related in part to the town’s purchase of property, which had been an asphalt plant. Lizza, Venditto and the other defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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