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Suffolk holds off sale of Selden land near SCCC

After a last-minute appeal by Legis. Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma), the Suffolk  Legislature on Tuesday tabled a resolution to sell a surplus 50-acre tract near Suffolk County Community College in Selden to help close the county’s budget gap.

Muratore said his district was “blindsided” by the proposal, and that the legislature was looking to sell the property “for a few pieces of silver.”

“We’re seeing a rush to judgment for a few bucks,” he said.

The resolution was sponsored by Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook), who agreed to table the resolution but added the county would be able to save 80 jobs from the money that could be raised from the sale. Lindsay did not specify a figure but noted the average county employee makes about $50,000 a year.

“Folks, we’re broke. We’re about this far away from insolvency,” said Lindsay, holding up his fingers close together. “We need the money. I don’t know what else to do.”

Next year’s budget hole has been estimated at $120 million.

Muratore said he was “open to anything,” including negotiations to sell part of the land and keep the rest for parkland or recreational use by members of his community.

Critics of the resolution have said selling the land to home builders could overcrowd local schools.

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