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Compressed-gas station’s OK delayed in Islandia


The Village of Islandia board of trustees has voted to delay for up to 30 days final approval of a planned environmentally conscious fueling station in order to further review the $3.4 million project.

Islandia-based Rides Unlimited, which provides transportation to those with disabilities, on Tuesday night submitted a final site plan to the board for approval. The plans call for a compressed natural gas fueling station, which would be used to fuel the company’s fleet, to be constructed on the site of the company’s headquarters at 108 Hoffman Lane.

Islandia Mayor Allan M. Dorman said the board had “five minutes” to review the submitted documents and needed more time. Dorman said the board would try to move expeditiously to conform to the company’s August 2012 deadline for federal grant funding.

“It takes a while to absorb this,” Dorman told Rides Unlimited officials at Tuesday night’s meeting at Village Hall. “And now we’re supposed to just pass this? I can’t do it. We need to absorb this. We need to sit down with our engineer ... I’m not trying to be mean or anything, I’m just looking out for the village.”

The project, which also calls for the conversion of the company’s fleet of 50 vehicles to operate with compressed natural gas, is being financed by a federal grant through the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition. Similar stations opened in 2011 in Oyster Bay, Commack and Westhampton. The stations are open to the public.

Robert Quinn, the company’s transportation director, told Dorman the delay “puts us in a bind.”

Richard Timo, a spokesman for the Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, the parent company for Rides Unlimited, said the company has a history of environmental initiatives, including the installation of solar panels on its Bethpage headquarters. He said he was “pretty confident” the project would be completed on time.

“We are interested in being environmentally correct and green,” Timo said. “We want to do it right. We want to be good neighbors. We’re willing to go through the process.”
 

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