Water main installed for redevelopment
The Suffolk County Water Authority last week finished installing thousands of feet of water main pipe for the Wyandanch Rising redevelopment.
The water authority is installing 4,340 feet of 12-inch-wide pipe on Acorn Street and Straight Path as part of the infrastructure that will serve the 177 apartments and 35,000 square feet of retail space being built near the Long Island Rail Road station.
The water authority’s work, which cost $446,000, is being paid for by Babylon Town, which is being charged 3.1 percent annual interest over 38 years.
Twenty-eight percent of the water payments from residents and businesses in the buildings will be given to the town as credit to help defray the costs of the water main work, said water authority spokesman Tim Motz.
The town anticipates the money eventually will fund the town’s payments to the authority. However, with the Wyandanch development unlikely to reach capacity for several years, town officials plan to tap into the part-town fund to help pay for the work.
The town has created an assessment area in Wyandanch to finance the water main if the area’s revitalization fails to draw enough new residents. — DENISE BONILLA
PALS celebrates 6,000 patient airlifts
Patient AirLift Services, a nonprofit that arranges free air transportation for individuals requiring medical diagnosis throughout the greater Northeast region, has scheduled its 6,000th flight Monday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced.
John Rochelle of Lakeville, Pennsylvania, a volunteer pilot and PALS director, plans to fly cancer patient Thomas Miloscia, 17, of Setauket, from Long Island MacArthur Airport to Maryland for treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Miloscia receives treatment every week, and PALS pilots fly him to Maryland on Mondays and back to Long Island on Fridays.
Before the flight, Miloscia’s mother, Christine Miloscia, said it would be “amazing” for the 6,000th flight to “be for Thomas since he’s such a selfless and courageous person.” Thomas Miloscia is the second of her six children. Monday’s flight is their 12th with PALS. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. — AGATA MICHALAK
NEW HYDE PARK
Memorial Park to get new sports courts
Village of New Hyde Park officials plan to begin construction this fall on two new tennis courts and one new basketball court at the popular Memorial Park.
“Within the next 60 days, we should be starting [construction],” board trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Before the winter, we’ll get them done.”
Barbieri said the cost of the project is estimated at $150,000 and said state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) helped secure money for the work, which will also be paid for with Community Development Block Grant funds.
“We’ve had the engineers working on it,” Barbieri said in an interview last week. “We should go out to bid on it soon.”
There are two tennis courts and two basketball courts in the park, which is bordered by Lincoln Avenue, William Street and Albert Street.
Superintendent of Public Works Tom Gannon said the two tennis courts in the “very busy park” are “in need of a new everything” while only one basketball court needs to be replaced. He said one of the basketball courts was put in about three years ago in an area where children used to play hockey but the other one is much older and in poor condition. Estimates were that the tennis courts and the older basketball court were first put in about 25 years ago.
“I feel sorry for the people who play tennis,” Gannon said. “It has bad cracks and it’s beyond maintaining. The basketball court is the same. They get a lot of use. It’s just time.”
Gannon said resurfacing of the older courts was done about 15 years ago.
“We’re trying to get everything done so everything is 100 percent ready to go next spring,” Gannon said. “The park is busy from the day school lets out to the day school starts. This is going to be a nice fresh start.” — LISA IRIZZARY
Empty field built into new town playground
Scores of volunteers descended on an empty field in Central Islip to help build a new playground Friday, town officials said.
“It was a real extreme park makeover,” said town Councilman Steve Flotteron of the flurry of activity to build picnic tables, assemble planters, and install safety surfacing at the park at 555 Clayton St.
Community members and volunteers from the local nonprofit Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors and national nonprofit KaBOOM! set to work assembling playground equipment, adding to a collection that volunteers started putting together last week.
The playground is the centerpiece of the new 30-acre town park, which features walking paths and is handicapped-accessible.
The work and materials are being donated by Disney VoluntEARS and KaBOOM!, which focuses on enhancing play in children’s lives.
Flotteron said the town spent two years planning the playground with community input into the design and called Friday’s event the final push before opening the park to the public.
“It was an old-fashioned barn raising,” Flotteron said. “We all worked together.”
Town Supervisor Tom Croci hailed the public-private partnership that built a new playground without using taxpayer money and said the new park would be enjoyable for all residents.
“We took a vacant piece of land, and we turned it into something special with the community that they can take pride in,” Croci said. “It’s a blueprint for how we do things in the future. We come up with ideas together and work on it together. We’re building something the taxpayers don’t have the burden for.”
Croci said the success of the new Central Islip playground was a good sign for the town’s plans for Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park, which is closed while the Suffolk district attorney’s office investigates the illegal dumping of an estimated 50,000 tons of toxin-laden debris.
“We’re going to build a park there that’s better than what was ever there,” he said.
— SOPHIA CHANG
Araca Road end area taken over by village
Babylon Village is taking over a small open area at the end of Araca Road after Suffolk County transferred ownership of the land last week.
“This will serve the dual purpose of making sure there’s open space and letting people look at the Great South Bay,” Mayor Ralph Scordino said.
The property has about 150 feet of waterfront and extends 50 feet back. A civic group, the Dalton Point Association, once owned it but failed to pay taxes, Scordino said. - NICHOLAS SPANGLER