The Village of Lindenhurst is leasing out a property for which it recently bonded for more than a half-million dollars to purchase to create a municipal parking lot.
The village board of trustees in August voted to borrow nearly $3.2 million, of which the village has spent $524,682 to purchase the property at 146 S. High St. According to an online real estate listing, the property is less than half an acre and has a three-bedroom house, which was built in 1893 and was put on the market last fall for $440,000.
"The price was a good deal," Mayor Mike Lavorata said, noting it had been listed at more than a million dollars at one point. He also noted that the plan was to eventually create a parking lot, but the home could be rented out in the meantime.
Earlier this month the board of trustees voted to lease the property to a family for $2,300 per month.
"The board will develop a timetable when and if we decide to move forward on it as a municipal lot," Lavorata said in an email.
In 2018 the village purchased property with three dilapidated houses on East Hoffman Avenue and created a 25-space parking lot for a cost of about $924,000.
Trustee RJ Renna said the village must seize opportunities like this when they arise.
"That was a mistake that we’ve made, we never acquired properties as they came up and it held us back in having enough parking for the downtown," he said at the time of the South High Street purchase.
A survey conducted last year by Babylon-based Greenman-Pedersen Inc. as part of the master plan it was hired to create for the village found that 85% of residents want more parking. But Frank Wefering, the company’s director of sustainability, said the perception of inadequate parking was not aligned with the reality of their parking utilization study, which found more than 1,200 public parking spots.
The village also recently hired a parking consultant, Level G Associates of Old Bethpage, to conduct its own study, which Lavorata said he hopes will "give us a better view" of how to make existing spots more accessible and how to orient spots to best serve the downtown. Officials are also waiting to see how the pandemic may change the parking landscape long-term, he said.
"A lot of people may not be going back to work in the city," he said. "We may not need the amount of spaces we used to have."