Community wants say in fate of National Guard armory in Freeport

Posted: Updated:
FREEPORT -

There's community concern about the old National Guard armory in Freeport.

The state is looking to transfer ownership of the empty armory along Babylon Turnpike back to the village. The state Senate has approved the deal, but the Assembly is yet to vote on it.

The village wants to move its Department of Public Works yard to the location, but residents say they're concerned about pollution and heavy truck noise.

Michele Baptiste, of the North East Freeport Civic Association, says no one reached out to the community for their input about a DPW yard at the site.

Nassau Legislator Kevan Abrahams agrees that the process should not be rushed and that formal dialogue with the community is needed.

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy says he's not taking the DPW yard option off the table just yet, but he plans to hire an engineering firm to study the property and what its potential uses could be. He says he also wants the public's input.

State Sen. John Brooks, who put forth the Senate version of the bill, says the mayor will not make a decision without hearing from the people.

Kennedy says he's also considering private development at the site, which he says would bring more property tax revenue to the village.

The Assembly is expected to vote on its version of the transfer bill by next month.

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