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Patchogue mayor looks ahead, sees critical initiatives

Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri at Village Hall with

Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri at Village Hall with plans for Father Tortora Park at East Second Street and Central Avenue on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Photo Credit: Chuck Fadely

Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri plans to use more than $2 million in grants to beautify parks, repave roads and create additional parking.

Looking ahead to the new year, the mayor spoke of solving parking problems and other projects he hopes to see completed. In recent years, Patchogue has seen a resurgence in its business district, with new construction and a busy downtown.

Two weeks ago, the village was awarded a $1 million Suffolk County grant to purchase a vacant lot on Waverly Avenue that the mayor said could be used to help solve the village’s most critical issue — parking.

He said many village employees are using prime parking spaces during work hours that would otherwise go to shoppers and visitors. Village officials said the grant should create up to 100 free parking spaces. Some in Patchogue have suggested the village build a parking garage instead.

Officials said such construction could cost $6 million and that it’s less expensive to purchase an existing property and use it for additional parking.

Also on Pontieri’s list of 2017 goals is to continue repaving roads, including parts of Cedar and Bay avenues. That work will be aided by a $600,000 state grant to install sidewalks.

A $300,000 grant from the state Regional Economic Development Council will cover the redesign of Shorefront Park, while a $250,000 county grant will be used to improve water quality in a stream that passes through the park.

Also, a portion of a $5 million private donation the village received two years ago to refurbish small parks will go toward improvements and playground equipment such as swings and slides at Shorefront, Belzak, Four Sisters and Father Tortora parks, Deputy Mayor Jack Krieger said.

“It’s not about the big parks, but about the small parks, also,” Pontieri said. “We’ll probably put well over a million dollars this year into all of our parks.”

He said the work is part of his plan to make the village more family-oriented.

“People want to be able to walk to the parks or downtown,” the mayor said.

In addition, officials are hopeful the growth in the village will attract construction of a downtown hotel.

“I think we’re at a point where we can market ourselves for a hotel,” Pontieri said, citing access to the train station, a ferry line and proximity to Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Another draw for Patchogue: Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch, which acquired Blue Point Brewery Co. in 2014, plans to relocate on West Main Street to the building where Briarcliffe College now stands.

Officials said the relocated brewery will produce roughly 60,000 barrels a year, up from 10,000 in 2016. The brewery is also expected to hire an additional 30 full-time positions when it opens in the new building, village officials said.

“It gives people another reason to come to Patchogue,” Pontieri said.

Pontieri’s 2017 to-do list

Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri has several initiatives he wants the village to undertake in 2017. They include:

  • Use a $1 million Suffolk County grant to purchase property for new parking
  • Improve many smaller parks in the village
  • Spend $300,000 to $400,000 on road paving
  • Attract a downtown hotel

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