Clearing the way for the Town of Smithtown to transfer the Nesconset Armory property to the Smithtown Library District, Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that state legislation authorizing the transfer has been signed into law.
Since the Armory site was originally designated by the town as parkland when it purchased the land from the state in the mid-1990s, the legislation sponsored by Senator Flanagan and Assemblyman Michael J. Fitzpatrick (7th Assembly District) 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.
The legislation is effective immediately. According to the Town of Smithtown, the transfer authorization for the 2.67 acre property has been placed on the agenda for the September 26 meeting of the Smithtown Town Board.
After the Town transfers the property, the Smithtown Library District would then be able to take the necessary steps for building the new home of the Nesconset Branch of the Smithtown Library at the site.
"The future of this site is now one step closer to coming to fruition. There is much promise at this site for the children, the families and the seniors of the entire Town of Smithtown and soon they will be able to visit the brand new library that will be built at the site," stated Senator Flanagan.
"On behalf of the Board and staff of the Smithtown Special Library District, we would like to thank Senator Flanagan and Assemblyman Fitzpatrick, along with Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio and the Smithtown Town Board, for making the transfer of the Nesconset Armory a reality. We look forward to the betterment of library services for the residents of the Town of Smithtown," stated Smithtown Special Library District Director Robert Lusak.
To ensure that there is no loss of usable parkland 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.
"Allowing the community to grow while still ensuring that we remember to protect the environment is a true victory for the Smithtown residents. The future of the site can be maximized without compromising the beauty we all enjoy and this legislation ensures that we can accomplish both. I will work with Supervisor Vecchio to work towards the future that the residents of Nesconset and the Town of Smithtown deserve," stated Senator Flanagan. "The children of our community deserve to have a place to expand their minds and a place to continue to enjoy the outdoors and now they will."
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