The long-awaited revitalization of the Ronkonkoma Hub is set to begin this fall, six years after then-Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko made his first proposal. On Long Island, that qualifies as warp speed.
The Hub project, estimated to cost more than $500 million, is needed. With as many as 1,450 apartments and 545,000 square feet of retail, it promises to revive a rundown area surrounding the Long Island Rail Road station. And it’s a true transit-oriented development that will take advantage of the second track being laid from Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale.
The last significant obstacle was Islandia, which finally agreed to let the sewer line connecting the Hub to the Southwest Sewer District run through the village. In a wise deal for all parties, developer Tritec Real Estate agreed to give Islandia up to $1 million and Suffolk County promised to repave roads destroyed in the process and give the village the right to use 200,000 gallons daily of the pipe’s wastewater capacity.
Unfortunately, nearby Long Island MacArthur Airport and its business district also need a sewer connection. Fortunately, the pumping station Suffolk will build at the Hub will have more than 1 million gallons of extra capacity, and the county has money to study and do the engineering work. Suffolk also has funds to engineer an extension of its planned sewer expansion to Great River into Oakdale and Sayville downtowns. Both are worthy projects.
Business and elected leaders are pressing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to release the $55 million needed to pay for both jobs from a pot he promised last year would be used to transform Long Island. He should do it. Let’s keep moving forward. — The editorial board