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Smithtown to hold hearing on closure of rail crossing

Smithtown Town Hall is seen in an undated

Smithtown Town Hall is seen in an undated photo. Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

A public hearing on the closure of a private grade rail crossing within the Town of Smithtown is scheduled for February.

The Long Island Rail Road in a Dec. 2015 letter requested a hearing to close the Parkside Drive rail crossing, located on the Port Jefferson Branch of the LIRR, because it was not being used by property owners on either side of the crossing, according to a public notice.

At one time, Gyrodyne Corporation owned property on both sides of the crossing and used it to traverse from one side to the other. Currently, Gyrodyne owns property on one side and Stony Brook University owns property on another side, the notice said. Both property owners have installed locked gates on their respective sides and do not use the crossing. But the LIRR still maintains the crossing’s automated gate flashers, according to the notice.

The LIRR believes the crossing should be closed, since it is not being used and serves no purpose, the notice said. The public hearing will determine whether the closure of the crossing is in the best interest of New York residents.

The hearing, held before Hon. Robert A. Rybak, chief administrative law judge of the New York State Department of Transportation, is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2016, beginning at 10:30 a.m. It will be held at the Perry B. Duryea, Jr. State Office Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Room 3, basement level, in Hauppauge.

Attendees in need of accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter or assistive listening system, should contact the Office of Proceedings at 518-457-1182. All attendees should contact the office the day before the hearing to confirm that the hearing has not been adjourned, particularly in the case of inclement weather.

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