At the May 13th meeting of the LIRRCC members were treated to a very informative presentation by Babylon Supervisor Steve Ballone. Ballone has been pushing a multi-faceted plan for revitalizing the area around the LIRR Wyandanch station.
This effort began in 2000 when the hamlet of Wyandanch was identified as the most distressed community on Long Island. The first step was taken in 2002 when the Town launched the Wyandanch Rising Initiative, a comprehensive community based approach to revitalization: building partnerships, planning, identifying brownfields, removing blight, and addressing needs of residents. Subsequent actions have included a community visioning process, the preparation of a Wyandanch Hamlet Plan, formation of an implementation committee and securing some major grants for brownfield cleanup and new sewer capacity.
Other key components to the revitalization are the 2008 plan (funded by the FTA) for a multi-modal hub and transit-oriented development (TOD) at the train station; and the 2009 urban design plan for the downtown area. Necessary zoning changes have been made and blighted properties have been acquired by the town so that Phase I of the revitalization can move forward. Clearly, the future looks very promising for the Hamlet of Wyandanch.
Supervisor Ballone also presented a vision for the reopening of the Republic train station and providing bus rapid transit service along the Route 110 Corridor, the largest job hub on Long Island. Ballone’s sustained leadership for this broad regional transportation and community revitalization through smart growth is strongly applauded and the Council looks forward to participating in any way to help make his vision a reality.