The transformation of Farmingdale has extended past its downtown to its “gateway.”
The $150,000 renovation of the Five Corners Park on the corner of Main Street and Melville Road is mostly complete, said Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.
“When you want to take a short walk, you can sit down and relax,” Ekstrand said. “If it's a hot day you can go inside the gazebo and sit in the shade. It’s a nice place to take a little walk and a break.”
The village started construction in March, tearing down a 40-year-old gazebo that Ekstrand said “had lived its useful life.” The village also removed all the old walnut trees, some of which had become hollowed out by disease.
FIXING UP FIVE CORNERS PARK
The park at Main Street and Melville Road in Farmingdale includes several updates:
* New gazebo
* New LED lighting
* New plantings including hydrangea, ilex and liriope
* New stonework and brickwork
* New benches
* New signage
* New fence along the rear perimeter of the park
Source: Village of Farmingdale
“We found out that walnut trees are not good to put in a public park because they choke grass and the other shrubbery,” he said.
The renovations were made possible by a Nassau County grant that covered two-thirds of the expenses, with the village paying for the remainder. Farmingdale officials applied for the grant in 2019, and the country approved it last year.
The park still needs some electric wiring for its LED lights, and a new village flag is on backorder, Ekstrand said.
Still, other village officials are also happy about the spruced up space.
“It’s something we’re very excited about because it was a part of the village and part of Main Street that could use that investment,” said Joseph Garcia, president of the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce. “That park will just further the amenities offered to all the residents of Farmingdale, but especially the renters here.”
Garcia said that many visitors to Farmingdale enter the village from the north and that the renovated park will make a better first impression.
“It’s a beautiful downtown and a beautiful Main Street. Having that park being beautiful certainly helps with that,” Garcia said.
Farmingdale has undergone a transformation over the past decade as rezoning allowed for new transit-oriented development — rental apartments — to be built around the Long Island Rail Road station. While the Five Corners Park renovation is a public investment, private investment in public space at the Fairfield Properties on Secatogue Avenue near the LIRR station is bringing three fountains to a public plaza.
Another change coming to Farmingdale’s Main Street is the burying of power and telephone lines. PSEG plans to begin the process on Main Street in mid-September.
“It’s going to change the look of the downtown,” Ekstrand said. “It makes the downtown more storm ready, as all the transformers and wiring is underneath.”
Garcia said the removal of poles will allow Farmingdale to widen Main Street by a foot or two and alleviate parking issues on the narrow roadway.
Ekstrand said the village will discuss street widening with the county.