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Steve Bellone, County Executive-Greenman Pedersen sponsor
June 7, 2013 @ 12:00 am EDT
Today’s meeting was sponsored by Greenman Pedersen Inc. Engineers
Mr. Steve Bellone was our speaker this morning and the message was that the problems we, and he are dealing with are legacy problems. The Foley nursing home was first discussed during the Halpin administration. Each administration that tried to shed the responsibilities of that facility was stymied by resistance from the public and the legislators. Resistance included suing the county to keep the nursing home open.
Deficits have been getting worse in recent administrations, but the fact is they have challenged every occupant of that office. Recently they have been reduced, but not eliminated.
According to Bellone you need to make progress on all fronts. Taxes, transportation needs, housing, industrial and commercial development are all interdependent. Housing that does not at the same time have places for business to develop is a speculative effort.
Bellone talked about a plan the he calls "Connect Long Island." The Long Island Railroad when it was built was a very forward thing plan. Those various lines can and should be better connected by light rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and bicycle paths where practical.
He showed a map demonstrating the viability of connecting the population of Wyandanch to the 110 corridor on one end and Riverhead on the other. He outlined several cross connections including a rapid bus route on Sagtikos Parkway connecting Heartland to the north shore and Bay Shore and Babylon on the south shore. Each connection lent itself to further connections as well as easy access to entertainment and shopping centers.
When asked where the money will come from Bellone stated that planning is relatively cheap, but when the planning and zoning is in place the money is more likely to come. When it does come it is already dedicated to the plan. Therefore it makes perfect sense to plan and create a vision that business and government entities can embrace.
In an answer to a related question Bellone said if you do not have plans for housing you miss the opportunity for jobs.
Thank you Greenman Pedersen Inc. and Mike Salatti for hosting at the meeting.