Suffolk County and Town of Huntington offficials signed an agreement Wednesday to spend $44 million to bring sewers to a portion of Huntington Station, part of a long-awaited effort to revitalize the hamlet.
A lack of sewers has often intefered with new development along Route 110 south of the Long Island Rail Road station, involving several efforts to revitalize the community. Residents have frequently pointed to the destruction of Huntington Station’s old downtown area as a result of uncompleted urban renewal projects in the 1960s as one of many reasons that the hamlet has struggled economically.
The Huntington Station Hub Sewer Project will be funded by $22 million each from the county and the town, the first project of the county’s new Wastewater Infrastructure Fund.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the agreement between the county and the town Wednesday morning at a press conference in Huntington Station, signing the agreement with Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci. They were accompanied by a celebratory, powerhouse lineup of other elected representatives, leaders of labor, contractor and builder organizations, planners and others, many of whom have been engaged for years in trying to upgrade opportunities in the Station.
Among them were members of the Gucciardo family, who own the property at 9th Street and New York Avenue where a former Dairy Barn sits, long a target of criticism for its derelict condition.
Bellone and the Gucciardo family showed stacks of paperwork the family has been dealing with as they tried over the last few years to build a new food business on the site.
The lack of sewers “is a problem that has been recognized for many years now,” Bellone said. ““For far too long, our region’s outdated infrastructure has slowed growth and development, with the lack of sewers being a primary driver. This is an historic partnership where both the town and the county have come together and will be utilizing American Rescue Plan funds to push this much needed project forward, which will boost the local economy, create jobs, and allow for the continued revitalization of blighted areas.”
The county said that the project will connect approximately 229 parcels in the vicinity of the railroad station and south along Route 110. The sewers would also serve several commercial blocks of Depot Road and industrial land along the LIRR tracks.
“It is very satisfying to have, as one of my last acts as Supervisor, allocated this funding for sewers in downtown Huntington Station on the south side of the train tracks, something that will spur economic investment and produce tangible results in the revitalization of my hometown–one of the key goals of my administration–in the years to come,” Lupinacci said.
Mitch Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute who attended the press conference, said, ““The cooperation of both Suffolk County and the Town of Huntington to provide the funds necessary for the expansion of a sewer system in Huntington Station is a very significant achievement for all of us who live and work in the county. The new system will now allow this portion of the county to enjoy both the environmental and economic benefits which are currently enjoyed in many other areas of the county but have not been able to be provided in Huntington Station because of the lack of such a system. It is a great day for our county.”
Councilwoman Joan Cergol said, “Having worked on so many projects to advance Huntington Station revitalization in my government career, this was a truly inspiring and gratifying day.”