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Oyster Bay officials to outline park plan

Town of Oyster Bay's proposed development plan for

Town of Oyster Bay's proposed development plan for Ellsworth W. Allen Park in South Farmingdale. Credit: Handout

Oyster Bay Town officials will outline their plan for expansion and redevelopment of Ellsworth W. Allen Park in South Farmingdale at a community meeting Thursday night.

The session at 7 p.m. at W.E. Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale follows years of environmental cleanup of the former Liberty Industrial Finishing site.

Supervisor John Venditto said before the session that the proposed plan is a result of meetings with more than 50 community groups. The plan "is a proposal which is still subject to further input," he said.

The park is 16 developed acres, and an additional 21.5 acres will be developed. The current park includes two baseball diamonds, a soccer field and tennis courts. That area will be reconfigured as a second phase of the project.

The eastern end of the park, which is now vacant land, will have four regular size ballfields with a storage facility in the middle and one small ballfield near Motor Avenue.

To the west of those fields will be the main parking area, and in the middle of the complex will be the new, 18,000-square-feet community center. North of that will be an open lawn that can be used for theater and musical productions.

In the northwest corner of the park, in the area where there is an existing multipurpose field, two multipurpose fields are to be constructed in the second phase of the project.

In the southwest corner of the park, a roller hockey rink, handball courts, basketball courts, a spray pool and two playgrounds will be constructed around an existing community building.

A walking and jogging exercise path will circle the entire property.

If the community approves the proposal, construction of the first phase would be completed by the end of 2013 and the second phase by June 2014.

The entire project is expected to cost between $35 million and $40 million.

The town has decided not include two suggestions from some members of the public: a dog park or swimming pool.

The pool could have cost more than $25 million with annual operating costs of $2 million, Venditto said. The town has decided instead to work with the Farmingdale school district to contribute to the rehabilitation of the high school pool in return for town residents having access to the facility. That would involve a one-time payment of less than $4 million.

The town decided a dog park did not fit with the other facilities planned, and the town is preparing to build a separate dog park in Massapequa, 4 miles away.

The town board on Tuesday agreed to condemn about an acre of land -- two parcels on Heisser Lane zoned for light industrial use -- to expand the park.

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