Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino has put the brakes on relocation plans for the town’s public works complex pending a review of the costs.
A committee led by Councilman Joseph Pinto last year had developed parts of a plan to relocate about half the town’s workforce from its facilities at 150 Miller Pl. in Syosset, which were sold in 2013.
“I have put everything on hold,” Saladino said in an interview Tuesday. “I am looking at every option to find out what is the most cost-effective way to do this.”
Saladino said that his new commissioner of public works, Richard Lenz, will be administering the review process.
The town has seven buildings on the site that held workspace for full-time employees in the town’s highway, public works, environmental resources, public safety and sanitation departments as well as the town animal shelter. Facilities at the site are used to store and maintain town vehicles.
The buyer, Oyster Bay Realty LLC, which includes Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group as one of its partners, agreed to let the town buildings, vehicles and equipment remain on the site for five years with an option to rent the property for an additional three years. The town received $30 million for the property and will receive an additional $2.5 million when the sale closes.
When the town board decided to sell the property, it declared the property to be “surplus,” based on a report by Hauppauge-based Nassau Suffolk Engineering & Architecture president Michael Spinelli. The report concluded renovations to the complex would cost $47.6 million and recommended that “the town explore a new centralized facility which would be economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and provide for a more productive work environment.”
The initial proposal to move employees, which Pinto said was presented to board members in December 2015 by consultants Cashin Spinelli & Ferretti, an outside attorney and a town commissioner in meetings with Town Board members, would have meant borrowing $56 million and constructing buildings in Hicksville and possibly Farmingdale.
A new plan to move employees and build facilities was presented last summer with a $44 million price tag, Pinto said. Board members also rejected that proposal.
The most recent plan relied on using existing town facilities in Oyster Bay, Massapequa and North Massapequa to relocate office workers from Syosset. The proposal would also have converted a North Massapequa community center on Albany Avenue — closed since a fire last year — into office space.
“We’re going to try to do this without spending much money at all,” Pinto said. The town board has authorized at least $748,022 toward planning services for the relocation, with $465,000 approved for Cashin Spinelli & Ferretti, where Michael Spinelli is a principal.
Saladino did not give an estimate of how long his review would last.
The only Syosset department to move is the Department of Environmental Resources.
Where Oyster Bay Fulltime Employees Work:
150 Miller Pl., Syosset: 602 employees
29 Spring St., Oyster Bay.: 12
54 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay: 87
74 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay: 166
977 Hicksville Rd., Massapequa: 322
Source: Oyster Bay payroll records, Oyster Bay web site, town officials. Numbers are from 2015; Oyster Bay reduced staff in 2016.