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Task force sought for Republic LIRR station

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) holds a news conference

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) holds a news conference at the Nassau County Police Department of Intelligence. (Jan. 4, 2012) Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a special task force to guide redevelopment of a new Long Island Rail Road station and transit hub near Republic Airport in East Farmingdale.

At a Woodbury meeting of the Long Island Builders Institute, Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday proposed having elected officials, business and community leaders, and other interested parties form the task force, which would study and gather input for the Republic station plan.

The LIRR plans to rebuild the station, which was closed in 1986, as part of a project to install a second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. The station would anchor a new mixed-use transit hub that would include a new bus system serving Suffolk's busy Route 110 corridor.

Schumer said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who spearheaded the plan while serving as Babylon supervisor, and current Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer have agreed to be part of the task force.

A Schumer spokesman said the task force would also require the participation of the state Department of Transportation, Long Island Power Authority and the LIRR -- all of which own property where the station would be developed.

"We're going to need all hands on deck to transform the blighted area around the old Republic Station into a hub for East Farmingdale, Route 110 and its business corridor," Schumer said.

There is no cost estimate for the project, which the LIRR plans to begin studying and designing by 2014.

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