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Oyster Bay holds meeting on Allen Park

Oyster Bay Town officials will hold a community meeting on the long-awaited expansion and redevelopment of Ellsworth W. Allen Park in South Farmingdale next week.

The session May 17 at 7 p.m. at W.E. Howitt Middle School at 70 Van Cott Ave. in Farmingdale comes after years of environmental cleanup of the former Liberty Industrial Finishing site.

"With the input of many community groups, the town is ready to unveil a preliminary plan and timeline for the redevelopment of the park," Supervisor John Venditto said.

After a presentation on the proposal, residents will be invited to comment.

Venditto said the cleanup of the site exceeded the highest level available under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards and met higher state standards for the amount of contaminated soil removed.

"The end of the cleanup is in sight, and the community will have a beautiful, expanded park in place of what has been a blight on the landscape," Venditto said.

If it can't negotiate a purchase, the town is planning to condemn about an acre of land -- two parcels on Heisser Lane zoned for light industrial use -- to expand the park for construction of a sports field. One property contains a dilapidated shed where landscaping vehicles are stored and the other an occupied single-family house. Acquiring the two properties would expand Allen Park, which has the highest visitation of any town park, to 39 acres.

The town has 1,586 acres of parkland to serve 293,000 residents, about half of what the National Recreation Association recommends. Farmingdale, Plainedge and Massapequa have the least amount of parkland in the town.

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