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Brentwood slated to receive $2M for downtown improvement

State Sen. Brian X. Foley Friday is expected to announce a $2-million state grant for improvements to Brentwood's downtown business corridor.

The grant, a Senate appropriation negotiated last year as part of the 2009 budget, includes $1 million for storefront facades, $750,000 for parking improvements and $250,000 for tree planting.

The announcement comes as residents, galvanized by a recent surge in shootings and stabbings, are calling on elected officials to provide better law enforcement and other resources for a community beset by home foreclosures, unemployment, graffiti and gang violence.

"There's no doubt it's a multifaceted challenge," said Foley (D-Blue Point), who worked with Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) to secure the funding and stressed that increasing police presence is the first priority.

"As goes the business community . . . so goes the neighborhood," he said. "They're intertwined."

The grant, to be disbursed by the Town of Islip, is intended to improve the downtown corridor near the intersection of Brentwood Road and Suffolk Avenue, near the Brentwood Long Island Rail Road station.

"I'm very excited," said Santiago Reyes, the owner of Comalapa Restaurant on Timberline Drive, who plans to open a new restaurant, called La Ola, near the train station in July. "Our community needs it."

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