The site of the former Steck-Philbin Landfill on Old Northport Road in Kings Park will finally receive an overdue facelift after 30 years of tax delinquency. The Suffolk County Landbank Corp., which is a not-for-profit entity that works with the county to redevelop tax-delinquent properties, issued a request for proposals to revitalize eight brownfields, including the one in Kings Park, in a press release from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) in late January.
“We are working to partner with the private sector to revitalize brownfields sites which have been blights on communities for nearly two decades,” Bellone said in the release.
A property is classified as a brownfield if there are complications in expansion or redevelopment based on the possible presence of pollutants or hazardous materials, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The site on Old Northport Road is still owned by Richard and Roslyn Steck of Steck & Philbin Development Co., though penalties and interest bring the total owed in property tax on the roughly 25 acres of land to nearly $1.5 million. The property has been tax delinquent since Steck-Philbin Development Co. was found to be using the site to dispose of waste that they did not have a permit for in 1986. It is located less than a half mile east of the Sunken Meadow Parkway and about a half mile west of Indian Head Road.
“This has been a long time coming and creating policies and procedures for the Landbank has been an arduous task, but I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) said in the release. Cilmi is a member of the board of the Landbank. “Hopefully, soon we’ll see the remediation of this and other properties, which benefits our environment. We’ll put the properties back on the tax rolls, which means millions of dollars of savings for taxpayers.”
The Suffolk County Landbank was established in 2013 after their application was approved by the New York State Empire State Development Corporation, according to the release.
“This program represents a tremendous opportunity that will help remediate these contaminated and blighted properties, transforming community burdens into community assets,” Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Basil Seggos said.
The property in Kings Park is next to the future location of a multisport complex being developed by Prospect Sports Partners LLC. The $33 million plan for the 44-acre site was approved in July 2015.
Some of the other brownfields included in the request for proposals include Hubbard Power and Light and a gas station on Brentwood Road in Bay Shore, Lawrence Junkyard in Islip and Liberty Industrial Finishing in Brentwood, among others. Cumulatively, the eight properties owe more than $11 million in delinquent taxes.
Proposals for the eight sites are due by March 18 and should be sent to the Suffolk County Landbank office on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge.