A construction crew works on the Third Track project on Sept....

A construction crew works on the Third Track project on Sept. 16 in Carle Place. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Daily Point

Projects on or close to schedule

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s finances are in “unprecedented” territory, chairman Pat Foye said Wednesday, as dire predictions emerged during the agency’s monthly board meeting. 

The MTA is seeking $3.9 billion from the federal government — money Foye said is “essential” just for the authority to get through 2020. But even if that funding comes in, the authority is facing a revenue loss that could approach between $6 billion and $7 billion come 2021.

The ramifications are enormous, starting with the authority’s next capital program, which is, for the most part, on hold.

But since that hold mostly affects new projects that haven’t been started, work on two massive efforts that Long Island is counting on — the East Side Access connection to Grand Central Terminal and the third-track expansion on the Long Island Rail Road’s Main Line — is ongoing, MTA officials said Wednesday.

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—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Talking Point

Hurry up and wait for election results

Didn’t we tell you not to hold your breath?

Wednesday came without much in the way of official clarity of results in key contested Long Island primaries. That’s not surprising given that in Suffolk County alone, more than 50,000 absentee ballots for congressional primaries were outstanding, according to a Wednesday document from the Board of Elections. More ballots are still pouring in, and must be postmarked by June 23 and arrive by June 30 to be counted.

That means that some candidates are being relatively tentative in their public statements. 

“I am optimistic that my lead after in-person results will continue to build momentum when absentee ballots are counted,” said CD1 Democratic candidate Perry Gershon, who led Nancy Goroff by less than 200 votes Wednesday, with Bridget Fleming around 1,000 votes behind.

An email from Goroff’s campaign to supporters advertised a late-afternoon Zoom update and called it “an exceedingly close race,” adding that “our team spent weeks encouraging our supporters to vote by mail, and our data have us confident that when every vote is counted, we will win.”

“There are still A LOT of votes to be counted and we’re confident that when they are, we’ll come out ahead,” said Fleming in a Wednesday campaign email, whose subject line read: “We won’t have an answer for a while.”

Other candidates have a bit more firm of a lead. CD2 Democrat Jackie Gordon declared victory with a more than 5,000-vote lead over Patricia Maher Wednesday afternoon, and CD2 Republican Assemb. Andrew Garbarino was close to 4,000 votes ahead of Assemb. Mike LiPetri. 

“Typically the absentee paper mirrors the ballots cast on Election Day,” Nassau Democratic elections commissioner James P. Scheuerman wrote in a text, adding that it’s the board’s job to make sure every vote counts and counting will start as soon as they’re able. 

Even if the trend set by machine numbers holds, absentee ballot counting doesn’t begin until next week and candidates and lawyers can pour over ballots for a while. Particularly in a close race like CD1. 

For that race, Suffolk GOP elections commissioner Nicholas LaLota said the following in a text: “Given how close the race is and the massive number of paper ballots to count, I foresee a lawyer-driven battle that lasts into mid to late July.”

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

Downward trend

Tom Janssen

Tom Janssen

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Final Point

It coulda been a contender 

A model community with high-tech jobs, housing, and more. A “transformational” mixed-use neighborhood with a commitment to green technology and shared vehicle pools. An economic center for the Town of Oyster Bay.

Sources with knowledge of the conversations tell The Point that for more than a year, there were “extensive” talks among the town, a global technology company that wanted to be involved in such a development, and Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group, whose headquarters are just steps from the Cerro Wire site. 

Inquiries also were made with Simon Property Group and Castagna Realty Co., the partnership known as Syosset Park Development, which previously proposed townhouses, condos, a hotel and a park on the site, only to meet with community opposition.

Spokesmen for the Town of Oyster Bay and Blumenfeld Development Group, led by developer Ed Blumenfeld, both declined to comment. 

But sources told The Point that while talks were ongoing for months, a deal was never reached.

That attempt came more than three decades after copper manufacturer Cerrowire left Syosset. The land was bought by Tribune Co. in 1990, and then sold to Taubman Centers, which hoped to build a mall at the site. Years of fighting and lawsuits ensued, as the land lay bare — and ultimately cutting a very long, very complicated story short — Taubman sold the land to Simon Properties and its partners. The Syosset Park proposal emerged — only to have that fail in the wake of community opposition, too.

Then came Blumenfeld’s efforts. But in early June, Syosset Park Development sent a letter to Oyster Bay, withdrawing its application for town board approval, and its petition for a zoning change, along with its offer to pay for an independent environmental analysis.

Just a couple of weeks later, town officials announced plans for an Amazon warehouse on the site.

The one constant in all of this? The site remains empty, once again with only visions of what might have been.

—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

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