Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00
The Village of Mineola is in the process of acquiring multiple properties as a result of the completion of the Long Island Rail Road Crossing Elimination project. The board of trustees recently passed a resolution to start the process.
All open items involving the project have been resolved by the New York State Department of Transportation. State law, according to village attorney John Spellman, allows villages to attain properties within the project.
“That project involved eliminating at-grade crossings at Herricks Road, Roslyn Road and the reconstruction the Mineola Boulevard Bridge,” Spellman said. “We recommended that the village pass a resolution accepting these properties so that we can begin the process of officially acquiring them.”
The Herricks Road crossing has been the subject to much controversy dating back to 1982. Nine teenagers had been killed when a van they were riding was struck by an LIRR train at the now defunct train crossing, after the van’s driver went around lowered gates. That crossing, which had once been named the most dangerous in the country by the National Transportation Safety Board, prompted the Long Island Rail Road to raise the track in 1994.
The DOT offered a parking lot located behind Fox’s department store on Main Street, south of the railroad tracks. The second property is a vacant lot located at the southwest corner of Second Street and Roslyn Road across from The Black Sheep.
“We’ve had control of most of these properties, with the exception of the lot [near The Black Sheep] and we’ve been doggedly trying to get it, certainly since I came into office and I’m assuming before,” Mayor Scott Strauss said.
A third parcel includes the northwest and southwest corners of Roslyn Road and Front Street. A fourth parcel, including part of Hinck Way, which was constructed as part of the project, runs east and west between Willis Avenue and Roslyn
Road just north of the raised railroad trestle.
“[The lot on Roslyn Road is] currently fenced in, but if we accept, it will become village property," Spellman said.
The final property is South Station Road, which is west of the Mineola Boulevard bridge and runs from All Island Taxi to Third Street.
“We’ve been talking about this at least since I’ve been on the board,” Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira said. “We should take ownership of [the parking lot] relatively soon and hopefully get it into circulation so that our business community and residents down there can avail themselves to that space.”