Huntington Station residents Cameron Batts, left, and Jim McGoldrick pose for...

Huntington Station residents Cameron Batts, left, and Jim McGoldrick pose for a photo in the hamlet's downtown, which is due to undergo a $10 million revitalization with state money. Both recently made suggestions at a community meeting about how the money should be spent. Credit: Johnny Milano

Creating a safe, walkable downtown with housing, a recreation center and decorative street lighting and seating are how residents recently said they want $10 million in grant money spent to revitalize Huntington Station's downtown.

The hamlet won a state Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant in January, money that goes toward creating an active downtown and increasing economic growth.

On June 28, a local planning committee held the first of three meetings where community members can offer recommendations for spending the funding before the committee shares the input with state officials who ultimately select the final projects.

Cameron Batts, 12, was among about 60 other residents at the June 28 meeting at St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church in Huntington Station.

As a local resident, the rising eighth grader at J. Taylor Finley Middle School said it was important for him to attend to hear from others and share his idea — a recreation center.

“It would offer live entertainment, structured sports and vendor business opportunities,” added Cameron, who attended the meeting with his mother, Janelle Felician.

State officials said the money can be used for projects such as new development or rehabilitation of existing downtown buildings, streetscape improvements, public art and new parks and plazas or upgrades to such spaces.

The targeted revitalization area is north of the Long Island Rail Road Station at Railroad Street, which becomes Broadway, and continues south along New York Avenue before ending after the intersection of 11th Street, according to town documents.

The area also includes the New York State Department of Transportation parking lot on New York Avenue, bus and vehicle parking lots just south of the train tracks and areas around Depot Road and Fairground Avenue. 

State officials said the boundaries could change.

Other residents who attended the recent community meeting said it was a good opportunity to gather information. 

Cheryl Lynn Bluma retired teacher who declined to give her age and who has lived in Huntington Station since 1987, said she supports spending the grant money on a village square and an apartment building that includes affordable units

“But I don’t want to see the community gentrified,” she said. “The point is to increase economic development and improve the quality of life of residents south of the train tracks.”

Hamlet resident Jim McGoldrick, 64, said he would like money spent on public safety and making the area a walkable community by improving sidewalks. 

“When it comes to spending money in Huntington Station and giving its residents what they deserve, I welcome it and we’re very grateful for the money. But $9.7 million is not a lot of money in this day and age," he added.

While the grant is for $10 million, $300,000 will go to Manhattan-based real estate development firm BJH Advisors LLC for handling project development, officials said.

Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth, co-chair of the planning committee, said there have been a number of attempts in the last couple of decades to revitalize the area.

But Smyth added that he believes the grant money in conjunction with a county-led sewer infrastructure project that is slated to start next year "will be the catalyst to attract significant private capital investment to the area." 

All ideas are due to the planning committee by July 18. 

Meeting details

  • A second community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 14 to introduce potential projects and collect feedback
  • A third meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 11 for updates on proposed projects and the draft plan
  • For more information and details on how to submit ideas go to https://www.huntingtonstationdri.com
A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME