Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

Suffolk Legislature Supports Ronkonkoma Hub

(The following are excerpts from a press release issued by the Suffolk County Legislature Office of the Presiding Officer)

Doing its part to pave the way for the most important pending economic development project in Suffolk County, the Suffolk County Legislature has included funding in its 2013 capital budget to create sewers to serve the Ronkonkoma Hub project.
The proposed $350 million redevelopment project will transform the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station into a 50-acre, mixed-use, transportation-oriented, pedestrian-friendly centerpiece of the community.

Brookhaven Town has already chosen TRITEC Real Estate as the master developer for the project, and the Islip Town Board is expected to vote today to enter negotiations with TRITEC about Islip naming the firm as master developer for the project. The project includes property in both townships.

“This project is a prime example of how different levels of government here in Suffolk County can work together with a private company to effectively redevelop areas and create jobs,” said Legislator Tom Muratore. “It is my hope that this project will send a message to businesses and business people across the nation that Suffolk County is the place that they can start a business or easily relocate.”

County Legislator John Kennedy supported the funding, noting the need for revitalization of the Ronkonkoma railroad station. “The project will pave the way for significant new construction and will be paid for by property owners within the sewer district,” said Legislator Kennedy. It is expected that this project will create more than 1,000 direct construction jobs, more than 500 permanent jobs and almost 5,000 secondary jobs.

The Legislature has included $21 million in funding in its 2013 capital budget to fund the creation of a sewer district to serve the project. In the initial proposed 2013 capital budget, there were allocations of $5 million in 2014 and $15 million in subsequent years to fund the sewer district. Hoping to speed the project’s progress, the Legislature decided to provide the funding in 2013. The funding does not add to the county’s debt; it will be repaid by the sewer district covering the project once it is created.

“The Ronkonkoma Hub is a transformative project that will mean thousands of jobs for Suffolk County residents,” County Executive Steve Bellone said. “This action sends a clear message that Suffolk County stands united to create jobs, pursue transit-oriented development and grow our economy.”

Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko said the funding for the sewer system is necessary before TRITEC can get approval for loans to buy the property. “I thank the Legislature and County Executive Bellone for their support for the Ronkonkoma Hub project, a partnership between the two largest townships in Suffolk County,” said Supervisor Lesko. “The Ronkonkoma Hub is the best opportunity to create economic growth and a transit-oriented development on the entire East Coast. The sewer bond is a vital, essential step in the process, which allows our Master Developer, TRITEC LLC, to move forward with the redevelopment."

“Future economic development and job creation in Islip and Suffolk County is heavily dependent on sewage treatment capability and a thriving Long Island McArthur Airport,” said Islip Supervisor Tom Croci. “Support by the county at this critical juncture moves us closer to both goals.”

The Hub project received a $4 million grant for design from the Long Island Regional Development Council, which called it a “transformative project.” Its potential is maximized by its location adjacent to the busiest LIRR station, Ronkonkoma, with more than 17,000 riders, and McArthur Airport.