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State should clear equipment from Freeport land

Freeport Mayor Robert T. Kennedy stands amidst the

Freeport Mayor Robert T. Kennedy stands amidst the old truck yard -- part of village property that he wants the state to clean up in order to enhance the environment and allow for the building of homes -- on June 17, 2015. Credit: Uli Seit

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy wants the state Department of Transportation to move the trucks, garbage and empty shopping carts that have littered 1.2 acres of village property for years. He wants to use the land on Sunrise Highway more productively, for housing.

Long Island has a rental vacancy rate of about 4.3 percent, the lowest of any suburban area in New York and well below the national average of 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

DOT refuses, saying it wouldn't be able to properly maintain local roads if it moves its equipment to a nearby site in Merrick. Freeport has sued DOT to take action. A court hearing is scheduled for July 27.

This is a case of short-term vs. long-term solutions. Staying put might be what the DOT wants now, but more housing is what we'll all need tomorrow.