The effort to revitalize Huntington Station got out of the gutter this week, as Suffolk County approved $1.25 million to study the possibility of extending the Southwest Sewer District to cover part of Huntington Station, which would help push the area’s plan along.
Local officials, community residents, and organizations have been collaborating to improve Huntington Station and bring new life to the area.
The lack of sewers is one of the areas desperately in need of improvement to make revitalization possible, as the land north of the Long Island Rail Road train tracks in Huntington Station is served by the town’s sewer district, but the south side is not, which limits development and economic opportunities.
Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Huntington) said he was pleased with this development at a press conference Jan. 9 at the Huntington Opportunity Resource Center.
“This funding marks an important first step in the long-awaited revitalization of Huntington Station,” he said at the event. “Sewer infrastructure is important not only for economic development, but also to support small businesses, expand opportunity and improve the quality of life for all of Huntington. It is also critical to preserving our environment and protecting water quality.”
The fund will include a comprehensive report with an engineering and design plan to add sewer coverage along New York Avenue south of the train station by hooking up to the county’s Southwest Sewer District.
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said reconfiguring the sewer lines is crucial to the success of Huntington Station.
“As we continue to build momentum in Huntington Station’s revitalization, it is important that we identify and address possible impediments,” he said. “The lack of sewers … is one of those impediments, and this grant will start the ball rolling toward solving the issue.”
The resolution was originally sponsored by County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport).
“Investing in sewers is the foundation of advancing the revitalization and will open the door to a bright future for the community,” he said. “With engaged partners in the town and community moving this forward, the sewers will enable Huntington Station to once again reclaim our strong sense of place and become an attractive downtown.”
According to the Town, the investment is the roadmap for the larger $20 million project included in the 2017 capital budget for the construction of sewers in subsequent years. The project is expected to lift the local economy, provide new housing opportunities, create jobs and increase property values.
Andrea Bonilla, community liaison for Source the Station, a group working to ensure the future of Huntington Station’s downtown is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, echoed the importance of this fund.
“Source the Station has been collaborating and working with the Huntington Station community for over four years,” she said. “We understand the importance of sewers for a sustainable revitalization of our community, and are excited to see this component come to fruition as we all continue to strive for a better future for all Huntington Station stakeholders.”