By Janee Law
A study looking into the possibility of expanding sewer infrastructure in Huntington Station has received $1.25 million in funding, Suffolk and town officials announced Monday.
Funding for the study was approved at last month’s Suffolk Legislature meeting. It expected to pave the way for the $20 million fund set aside by the county in the 2017 Capital Budget that will later be used for sewering in Huntington Station, according to Suffolk Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport).
“Putting in sewer infrastructure will boost our local economy, it will create jobs, it will increase property values, it will diversify housing opportunities and it will allow us to transform and revitalize the Huntington Station hub area,” Spencer said.
Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said the plan involves installing a sewer line that will run south of the Huntington Long Island Rail Road Station to the Walt Whitman Shops, which is already hooked into the southwest sewer district.
“It will be an opportunity in the station to really see a dream come true,” Petrone said. One in which “developers will start coming in with commercial projects, they’ll start redoing buildings, people will sell buildings, others will buy them, and strip malls will be converted.”
He continued, “As that happens, more people will come to develop, more dollars flow and the economy of the station increases. The stigma of the station being a railroad station as a dumping ground will be long gone.”
Spencer said a procurement process will take place in selecting a firm that will conduct the study and determine how construction will proceed. Once a firm is selected, the study will take 12-18 months and will include issues regarding design, how many pump stations are needed, and where direction lines will go.
“We know that sewers are the backbone for any vibrant community,” Spencer said. “When we look at developing and building our community properly, sanitary flow is really important.”
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone, Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills), Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland and Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards also attended Monday’s announcement, which was made at the Huntington Opportunity Resource Center in Huntington Station.
Bellone said the county wants to support the community’s and Town of Huntington’s efforts to revitalize Huntington Station
“We want to support that at the county level and we want to help make that happen,” Bellone said.
Plainview-based developer Renaissance Downtowns is the master developer for Huntington Station and is currently moving forward with plans to revitalize the area through construction of several buildings along New York Avenue, including an office building, artists residences and more.
Editor's note: The $1.25 million in funding approved for the study is not part of the $20 million fund in the 2017 Capital Budget that the county set aside for sewering in Huntington Station. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated otherwise.