Downtown Syosset will look completely different within the next few years.
Though the area isn’t rundown, it is time for a bit of a refresher, according to Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker (D—Plainview), who represents parts of Syosset. After multiple years of attempting to secure funding for a renovation project, the money has finally been secured.
“We’re all trying to beautify and revitalize our downtowns,” Drucker said.
The Syosset streetscape and walkability enhancement project, as it is called, is receiving a $319,999 community revitalization project (CRP) grant. Additionally, County Executive Laura Curran announced she has committed an extra $350,000 in capital funding to push the project forward after years of uncertainty. The additional funding will complement $1,496,954 in federal and state grants that have already been allocated for the project.
Drucker checked his CRP account and knew this was the project he wanted to work on. However, the $319,999 would not be enough to get the job done. He had to ask the county for the rest of the money.
“I became aware of this through civic leaders and constituents in Syosset,” Drucker said. “The project had been pursued by the Town of Oyster Bay a while back. It was based on a grant they had from the federal government. The grant only had a certain amount of money allocated for a long time.”
But the town never did anything with the funding. The bid essentially exceeded the grant, and they needed contributions to do it.
“The project can go full steam ahead,” Drucker said.
There is no specific timeline because the Town of Oyster Bay needs to officially approve the project and the funding. The Syosset project was supposed to be voted on during a Dec. 10 meeting, but that never happened. The next town meeting is scheduled for the second week of January, where it is expected to be approved.
The Town of Oyster Bay approached Curran in a Jan. 23 letter, requesting for assistance with the streetscape project.
“The Jackson Avenue and downtown area will be beautified,” Drucker said. “They will be constructing concrete curb and pavement restorations. They’re going to construct colored and imprinted decorative crosswalks. There will be intersection improvements. The pedestrian curb ramps will be reconstructed so they are ADA [American Disabilities Act] compliant.”
There will be fresh decorative lighting, a gorgeous landscaping job, as well as a handful of other small enhancements that will add up to make Syosset look even better than it does at this time. The ADA compliance will specifically have an impact on the ramps along Jackson Avenue, which begins at Underhill Road and continues all the way to Cold Spring Harbor Road.
Among the areas that will be part of the streetscape project are the Nassau County-owned roadways of Jackson Avenue, East Woods Road, Berry Hill and Cold Spring Harbor Road.
There will also be improvements made to intersections throughout the area.
As part of the inter-municipal agreement, the Town of Oyster Bay will assume maintenance responsibilities for 10 Nassau County-owned recharge basins.
“It’s going to make it more appealing for people to come shop in Syosset,” Drucker said. “The local businesses depend on the traffic of people. It’s all about improving the economy. People will shop locally.”