OK, we really needed a dedicated Blog for this, and I say none too soon!
I am usually a quiet fellow, and like most of us here in the Village, go about my business without to much kerfuffle. Now I realize, after a very long time of not being involved politically in our beloved village, we are paying the price. I thought I'd best get involved before it is too late.
I saw the issue the Residents First people brought up about the New Village project, how they didn't want a five story apartment building in the heart of town. I thought 'Gee, I thought that was going to be a hotel.' Well it isn't. I don't care how it got to what it is, it isn't what it was sold as.
I am most motivated by this because of the way I was spoken to by the Tritec fellow, a well dressed young man, at the meet and greet (by the way, Tritec, thank you for the free donut and coffee).
I had some concerns about the effects of the project on our local environment. Mind you I am not one of those wacky Eco-Warrior types. I just thought, well, 300 apartments, some offices, some retail shops, where is the waste going to go?
We have a small water ecosystem; two or three small lakes, three or four small rivers, which all go to the bay, and then to the great South Bay. We now have a nice sewage treatment center, which I was led to believe is already at capacity because of the new condos, apartments, and some large clients like Lombardi's. Now we will add 300 apartments, some offices, and some more retail shops. Lots more waste. Where will this squeaky clean sewage (after processing, right?) go? Into our little bay. So goodbye wildlife. Oh it may take some time, but it will happen. You can't do that without adversly affecting the ecosystem.
I also had another concern, parking. Where will all these new residents and customers park? 300 new parking spaces. Is that enough? I think that is maybe half enough. So where will the others park? On our streets and our public lots. So you can forget about going to town for any reason if you are not one of these folks, it seems.
So back to the Roast roast.
So I asked Mr. Tritec what about the ecosystem and voiced my concern. He said that studies were done and he would be happy to send me a copy, and I gave him my email. 10 days ago. Maybe he lost it in all the excitement. Then he, I, and some other residents started talking about the size of the place, the amount of people, and I said that I and the other residents would never see Main Street again as we would have no place to park. He told me 'if I don't like it I should move'. Hand to God. Verbatim. So I decided to go outside for a smoke (yes I know, but this is not the time for a lecture on smoking), and came across someone I know who was talking to some tall fellow wearing a jacking with a plumber's union logo on it. He seemed very adamant about the project being a good thing. I told him about my concerns for the ecosystem, and he said 'Oh, I can't talk to you!' and turn his back to me. I tapped him on the shoulder and I said 'Excuse me, but do you live here?' He said no and showed me the logo on the back of his jacket again. Ok, so I go outside and there a few people chatting. One short stocky fellow, who said he was in real estate, was espousing the virtues of the project. Again, not from the Village. I said I didn't like the way the Mayor handled it, and someone else started in with the alleged illegal/semi-illegal activities of the Mayor, and the real estate fellow said 'So what?' and shrugged it off. He told me before the Mayor Patchogue was a 'sh..thole' and now it's fabulous. 'Look at all the stores', he said. I said those stores are there because hard working people like me either put ourselves in debt or invested their life saving in those businesses and work 12 hours a day to try to suceed. He didn't want to talk to me anymore either, so I went back inside and chatted with a handful of people I knew.
Ok, so the Roast roast, it seems to me, everyone I spoke to who was in favor was either closely aligned with the mayor, or didn't live in Patchogue. This is not a biased or political statement, it was just my experience.
Well, at least it will bring lots of new tax revenue to the Village, right? Apparently not. Our Esteemed Mayor has given the project 15 years of abatement. Nice. My taxes keep going up. Some zillion dollar company from out of town pays nothing.
So now it is time to talk about the facts, and what the Village residents really want and how to get it. I'm tired of special favors to outside investors and just the oppisite for us! No more parking on the dock anymore, that's for Lombardi's! No sewer hook up fees for Lombardi's, but for us it's $20,000! The Mayor's office will tell you it is for improvement of the village.
At the debate Lori Devlin told us how successful the growth in town was. We now have a Frozen Yogurt shop, a coffee shop, a wine store. Fantastic. She forgot to mention two pawn shops, some laundermats, a few dollar stores and several bodegas. Now that's progress.
So here's the deal as I have been able to sort it out. Mayor Pontieri brokered a deal between the Sweezy heirs and Tritec for the entire two blocks that will be new village. The Mayor and the board (three are on his side, three against) decided to forgo the usual planning board trivia (yes that was sarcasm), skip a few laws and rules, and get the project going. No impact studies of any sort. No concern for the residents. Just favors for the developer. Business as usual, I guess.
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