Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that important state legislation he sponsored (S. 2854) that would require NYS Office of Parks to prepare a master plan for the Nissequogue River State Park has passed both the Senate and the Assembly. Senator Flanagan ensured the master plan under the legislation would include 365-acres of property formerly known as Kings Park Psychiatric Center, which was subsequently transferred to NYS Parks in 2006.
The legislation will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for final approval.
Originally, in 2001, only 155 acres of the former KPPC was designated as state parkland to create the Nissequogue River State Park. In 2006, Senator Flanagan led the effort to have the remaining 365-acres of land administratively transferred to the jurisdiction of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to be protected as parkland in perpetuity. The legislation sponsored by Senator Flanagan and Assemblyman Steve Englebright (4th Assembly District) would effectively protect the 365-acre parcel as parkland into the future by codifying it into statute and officially designating it as part of Nissequogue River State Park.
Under the legislation, State Parks would develop, adopt and implement a master plan for the full 520-acres in cooperation with Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, other interested parties and critical input from the general public. The plan would present a series of preferred alternatives for the future development and use of the Nissequogue River State Park, but only after conducting public meetings to gather useful information and input, and also considering important factors, such as the historic, natural and recreational resources of the park.
Since working to have the sale of the land stopped in 2006 and placing the additional land under the protection of State Parks, Senator Flanagan has secured more than $31 million for the demolition of buildings, remediation and redevelopment of this magnificent tract of open space.
“I am thrilled this legislation has passed both houses of the Legislature so that this important property is protected for future generations. It was a pleasure working with my colleague Assemblyman Englebright and I thank him for joining this important effort. Since 2006, my office has worked with the community to preserve this property as state parkland and this legislation will ensure those efforts will be protected in state law. I look forward to Governor Cuomo’s ultimate approval of this bill so we can ensure a bright future for this wonderful local resource and preserve some of the limited open spaces we have left on Long Island,” stated Senator Flanagan.