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Town must cover $100G worth of renovations at Van Bourgondien Park

Deputy Babylon Town Supervisor Tony Martinez said the

Deputy Babylon Town Supervisor Tony Martinez said the town will cover the funding shortfall for the county-owned, town-maintained park by stretching the costs over the next few years. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Town of Babylon will have to spend more taxpayer money to renovate a West Babylon park after receiving $100,000 less than expected for the project from a Garden City developer, town officials said Friday.

Babylon officials hoped to receive $250,000 from the Engel Burman Group for improvements to Van Bourgondien Park on Albin Avenue, the town’s deputy supervisor, Tony Martinez, told Newsday in April 2017.

The developer plans to build a senior housing complex in Deer Park, and the donation was agreed to as part of a community development incentive package.

But Martinez said Friday that negotiations over the donation reduced the sum for the about 20-acre park down to $150,000.

The town board accepted the last installment of the developer’s donation at a special meeting June 28. The money will go toward the installation of a new playground, Martinez said.

“We thought that $250,000 would be an appropriate contribution,” Martinez said. “That’s what I was hoping they would agree to.”

Gary Lewi, a spokesman for the company, said, “By the very nature of negotiations, both sides start with different expectations, and the $150,000 provided to the town’s community benefits fund by Engel Burman reflects how two sides met in the middle.”

Lewi said that the company’s developments in Babylon — the Deer Park senior complex and an assisted living facility in West Babylon that opened earlier this year — represent a $100 million investment in the town.

Martinez said the town will cover the funding shortfall itself by stretching the costs over the next few years.

As funding has decreased, the projected costs of renovating the county-owned, town-maintained park have mounted.

Town spokesman Kevin Bonner said the renovation, which includes installing new soccer field lights and reconfiguring the parking lot, will cost about $1.63 million, up from the $1.3 million projected in 2017. He attributed the cost increase to higher-than-expected bids from prospective contractors.

The town will also pay for the work with $600,000 from New York State and Suffolk County.

Martinez said he hoped the renovation can be completed in 2019, adding that the town is reviewing construction bids for the project.


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