Walk down Main Street or drive down Route 110 and Hempstead Turnpike and you will notice many boarded up storefronts adorned with "For Rent" signs, an indication of the hard times the area -- and country -- are facing.
The Village of Farmingdale mayor and board of trustees they hope will and fill the empty sites with businesses and housing.
Over the next few months, Farmingdale Patch will spotlight these vacant properties to foster discussion in the community on what can, should and could be done to rehab these abandoned places.
This week's property is the , a 22-acre former EPA Superfund property on Motor Avenue.
The 20-year cleanup finished up this summer and Town of Oyster Bay officials are considering proposals about what to build there. The town board , leaving some residents campaigning for different uses and some worried about the site’s history of contamination.
“We don’t question the safety of the area,” said Bill Manton, head coach of Farmingdale Aquatics, a year-round, competitive swim program whose members .
The town had scheduled a community meeting for the fall, but it has been tentatively rescheduled for the spring. Farmingdale's civic groups and the town has mentioned possibly building some additional fields there.
Two decades ago the Environmental Protection Agency named the area a superfund site for groundwater and soil contamination. According to the site report issued by the EPA in 2011, the Liberty Aircraft Products Company produced aircraft parts there during World War II. After the war, the site was converted to an industrial park and later to a warehouse. Liberty and the other companies left behind a contaminated groundwater plume.
In 1986, the EPA took the lead role in the $32 million cleanup, which involved creating a filtration system to remove the heavy metals and volatile organic compounds from the groundwater. Some of soil was also hauled from the site.
Ultimately, the EPA plan only cleaned up the property to industrial standards. This became an issue in 2001 when the town announced its intention of acquiring the property and building recreational facilities there.
“The EPA cleanup was the equivalent of having a dirty floor and putting a rug down,” said Town of Oyster Bay Environmental Consultant Hal Mayor at a meeting this summer. The town took over the next cleanup stage in 2002, spending $4 million to haul the rest of the soil from the site.
Health risks at the site are “no longer a worry,” Mayor said, since the water plume is not connected to any wells used by water districts and all the old soil is gone.
Of the 22 acres adjacent to Allen Park, only 16 are viable for projects, since part of the area contains the underground filtration system.
What would you like to see there? A pool? A community center? More fields? Tell us in the comments.