In an important development in the future use of the Nesconset Armory, Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced Senate passage of legislation that will enable the Town of Smithtown to transfer this property to the Smithtown Library District for the purpose of constructing a new library branch in Nesconset.
Since the Armory site was originally designated by the town as parkland when it purchased the land from the state, the legislation sponsored by Senator Flanagan was needed to legally authorize an alternative use for this property. Both the Town of Smithtown and the Smithtown Special Library District requested this alienation legislation.
"We are grateful to Senator Flanagan for moving the library bill forward so that the library can now have a location for its future plans," stated Town of Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.
To ensure that there is no loss of parkland use for the residents of Smithtown, the legislation requires the Town to dedicate replacement parkland that is at least equivalent in value to the Armory property. This will allow continued preservation of open space in the Town of Smithtown while permitting needed improvements at the Armory site.
In the event replacement parkland cannot be secured, the legislation authorizes the Town to instead make capital improvements to existing park and recreation facilities.
Additionally, the Town of Smithtown must comply with any federal requirements which would affect this alienation or conversion of parklands. This includes satisfying the secretary of the interior that this action complies with any conditions deemed necessary to assure that any substitute land is of equal or greater fair market value.
"The goal is to provide our children with a greater learning experience while continuing to preserve our valued parks and open space. There is obviously great promise at this site and this legislation allows that promise to be realized," stated Senator Flanagan. "Libraries are as important to our community's growing minds as the parks are to our continued health and I am happy to see that neither is being sacrificed as we move forward."
The bill has been sent to the Assembly for action. When acted upon, the legislation would be effective immediately.
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