RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – A long awaited project in the Blue Point community has entered into the final phase of the planning process. The former Blue Point Laundry site, located near the corner of Bowne Avenue and Park Street, will be transformed into a new community park. The Suffolk County Legislature, at their November 26th General Meeting, has appropriated $1.5 million to complete the project. The park is being built in partnership with the New York State and the Town of Brookhaven. Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco has long advocated for the building of the park and sponsored the resolution to approve the funding.
“This project has been a long time coming,” said Calarco. “We have been working with the community to make this happen and now we are taking the last steps before we can get shovels in the ground.”
Blue Point Laundry was an active commercial laundry from 1947 to 1991. In 1998, the property was seized by Suffolk County in satisfaction of unpaid taxes. Testing of the site in 2002 found the parcel to be contaminated. In 2013, a remediation project was undertaken and completed that remove the contaminants from the soil. Suffolk County has been developing plans to build a new park at the site. In 2017, Suffolk County hired the engineering firm H2M architects + engineers to develop plans for the project. Those plans feature walking paths, a small play area, a relaxation area, and daylighting the Purgatory Creek stream that will help improve the local ecology.
Calarco says that the project will be jointly funded by a partnership with the New York State. State Senator Monica Martinez secured $500,000 from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) toward the project. DASNY provides funding to projects that serve the public good of New York State. The Town of Brookhaven is also partnering with Suffolk County to build the new park. After agreements with the Town are finalized, Suffolk County will transfer the property and funding to Brookhaven Town. The Brookhaven Parks Department will then build the park and enter it into its park inventory for future maintenance.
“State, County, and Town government are all working together to make this park happen,” said Calarco. “This has really been a collaborative effort and I want to thank Senator Monica Martinez and Councilman Neil Foley for helping to push this project forward.”
Once a final inter-municipal agreement is entered into by Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven, the property and funds will be transferred to the Town so that they can begin construction in 2020.