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Judge pushes Brookhaven Town, rail terminal to settle

This aerial image, provided by the Town of

This aerial image, provided by the Town of Brookhaven, shows the Brookhaven Rail Terminal site, left, in Yaphank on May 2014. Credit: Town of Brookhaven

The federal judge hearing the lawsuit between Brookhaven Town and a Yaphank rail terminal company has scheduled a conference aimed at nudging the two sides to settle the dispute.

Judge Gary R. Brown ordered lawyers for the town and Brookhaven Rail Terminal to appear in court at 2 p.m. on March 4 at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. Attorneys for both sides previously have said in court papers that they expect to settle the lawsuit by the end of March.

Brookhaven sued the rail terminal, alleging the company had failed to adhere to town land-use laws and illegally excavated a 93-acre section of the property at the intersection of Sills Road and the Long Island Expressway. BRT officials have said the firm is regulated by federal laws and thus is exempt from town laws.

“Settlement discussions are continuing,” Brookhaven spokesman Kevin Molloy said in a telephone interview.

A Brookhaven Rail Terminal spokeswoman declined to comment.

Officials have touted the terminal as a way of transporting goods and produce by rail rather than on local roads.

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