Raia Seeks To Preserve Surplus State Property As Open Space

June 4, 2007

(Northport, NY) - New York State Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) today announced that he is seeking to preserve approximately 4.7 acres of surplus property currently owned by the New York State Department of Transportation located in the vicinity of Maplewood Drive in Northport.

Raia noted that in the past year many local residents contacted his office regarding ongoing dumping on vacant property in the area. After inquiries into the land’s owner, it was determined that 4.4 acres of the land was owned by the Long Island Rail Road and 4.7 acres is owned by the New York State Department of Transportation. Through Raia’s efforts, all of the land was declared surplus in an effort to convey the parcels to the Town of Huntington to be saved as open space.

“My first task was to decipher who exactly owned the land. Once I learned that it was partially owned by the state, I immediately began pushing for the transfer of land to the town. I commend our local residents who brought this issue to my attention and I think we can all agree that we must preserve what little open space we have left here on Long Island,” said Raia.

The property was originally purchased by the state to extend Deer Park Avenue or State Route 231. Raia added that the extension never happened and that it should not derail the goal of securing the property as open space.

Recently, the Town of Huntington passed a resolution sponsored by Huntington Town Councilman Stuart Besen that would enable the Town to enter into a licensing agreement with the Long Island Rail Road to maintain the 4.4-acre parcel as part of the Town’s Rails to Trails Program.

“The transfer is still working its way through the process but, hopefully, it will be completed during the summer. I will continue to keep a close eye on this situation because we simply do not have much open space left and we must do everything in our power to preserve what we can,” concluded Raia.