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County: Bavarian Inn to come down by Labor Day

Former site of the Bavarian Inn in Lake

Former site of the Bavarian Inn in Lake Ronkonkoma. (June 11, 2013) Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County officials have announced plans to demolish by Labor Day the crumbling Bavarian Inn in Lake Ronkonkoma.

As part of the arrangement announced Wednesday, Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset) tabled a resolution that would have advanced an effort to convert the site into a park.

Though the county, which acquired the site from the town, has not decided what to do with the land, officials plan to consider several options, including a park and an auction, Deputy County Executive John Schneider said.

"One thing that everyone can agree on is that it is an eyesore that needs to come down . . .," he said. "Let's take care of that, and then we can work with the community to figure out what should be done."

The Bavarian Inn -- just north of Lake Ronkonkoma -- closed more than six years ago.

The property has been subject to fires, "drug paraphernalia," graffiti and broken asphalt in the parking area, Kennedy said. Its condition led Kennedy and community members to push for the park project.

"I am telling you it is going to be a park," said Fred Gorman, chairman of the Nesconset-Sachem Civic Association. "There's not much else you can do with that area."

Though county officials have said a park would be too costly, Kennedy said making it a park would remove it from the tax rolls and "relieve the county of any responsibility to make payments to all of the entities that receive proceeds from the tax bill associated with that property."

Others, however, prefer keeping the area commercial.

Warren Sulmasy, 80, of Nesconset, a longtime resident who's been following the issue, said converting the area to town homes would generate revenue for the county.

The proposed demolition project could cost taxpayers between $450,000 and $500,000, a combination of demolition, cleanup and unpaid property taxes, Schneider said.

The county must conduct a number of property inspections before submitting a permit application with the state Department of Environmental Conservation that would allow demolition to proceed. If the process moves quickly, the Labor Day goal should be doable, Schneider said.

Community members are excited to be rid of the structure. "It's just a blight to the community," Gorman said. "I'm going to take them at their word that it will be done by Labor Day. If not, I'm really good at banging pots."

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