Senator Flanagan Secures Millions For State Cleanup Of Kings Park Psychiatric Center
Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that he has secured $25 million in state funding for the environmental cleanup of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center site. This money, which is an unprecedented appropriation for environmental cleanup, was included in the legislative budget which passed today. The funding will dramatically decrease the cost of future remediation of the site.
Senator Flanagan worked to secure the funding to ensure that the future of the KPPC site proceeds in the best interest of the residents of Kings Park and the Town of Smithtown.
The funding for the remediation of the site follows Senator Flanagan's successful efforts to stop the sale of the site to Cherokee Arker in January. The termination of the sale was in direct response to continuing discussions between Senator Flanagan, local leaders, residents and state officials concerning the proposed redevelopment project.
The former developer had proposed building 1,800 units of housing on the unique parcel of land to offset the cost of remediation. That number of units was unacceptable to the community and Senator Flanagan. The securing of $25 million for remediation costs now allows any future development, either by a private or public entity, to dramatically avoid such high density.
"This is a great win for all who have fought to protect this important piece of Kings Park and the residents' way of life. By securing this funding, we have significantly lowered the cost of any cleanup and have effectively stated that over-development is no longer an option for Kings Park," stated Senator Flanagan. "The future of this site now rests in the hands of the community and that was the goal from the beginning."
"I never had any doubt that once Senator Flanagan had secured the non-sale of the KPPC, he would move assiduously to obtain cleanup funding. I congratulate him and look forward to working with him as we move forward on the property," said Town of Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.
"This is yet another important step in this process, and is truly a testament to the extraordinary things that can happen when community and elected officials work together", said Linda Henninger, President Kings Park Neighbor’s Association.
Senator Flanagan has pledged to continue working with local leaders, town officials and environmental groups to utilize the state funding properly. As one of the most expansive sections of open space left in Suffolk County, the future of the site is important to both the residents of Kings Park and the entire region.
Since the cancellation in January, Senator Flanagan has had numerous meetings and discussions with local elected officials, civic leaders and residents to listen to their concerns about the future of the site. The talks centered on a way to minimize the size of any potential project and the impact that such development would have on school district enrollment, local roadways/infrastructure, and property taxes.
"The residents have continually stressed that they want to keep the 'park' in Kings Park. We worked together to get the over development stopped and now we are working together to get the site cleaned up," added Senator Flanagan. "This is a local land use issue and we must ensure that the town and the residents are heard and their vision for their community is respected."
The Legislature's budget will be sent to Governor George Pataki for final approval.
READ NEWSDAY'S APRIL 5 EDITORIAL REGARDING SENATOR FLANAGAN'S SECURING THE $25 MILLION FOR THE CLEANUP OF THE KPPC SITE
January 14, 2006 - SENATOR FLANAGAN ANNOUNCES CANCELLATION OF KPPC SALE
January 30, 2006 - SENATOR FLANAGAN HOLDS JOINT MEETING TO DISCUSS SECURITY AT KPPC
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