NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — An inn and restaurant that once stood as a landmark and beacon for Long Island families has become a frustrating eyesore for residents of Lake Ronkonkoma.
The Bavarian Inn has been vacant for six years, but remains surrounded by camps, estates, and wildlife.
“It went from a beautiful gem of Long Island, to this deteriorated site you see now,” Commerdinger Preservation Society spokesman Michael Fallacara told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan on Thursday.
The inn is mired in a tax dispute with Suffolk County, which now owns the property.
“Heroin needles laying on the ground, somebody is going to get hurt or killed here,” neighbor Joseph Schildt said.
The Bavarian Inn had once been “The” destination for weddings, celebrations, and vacationing families. Now, it is filled with squatters, graffiti, signs of drug use, and rats.
The Sachem Civic Association is lobbying for a park to be built on the site, but they have encountered resistance from Suffolk County.
“The county apparently believes this property has some value and that they may be able to make some money from it,” civic association spokesman Fred Gorman said.
But lawmakers disputed the claim and said that it was an environmental issue.
“If there was a way to have an economic re-use, certainly I would be willing to sit and talk about it, but the truth of the matter is, it’s an impossibility,” Suffolk County Legislator John Kennedy said.
A decision about whether the ground should be rebuilt on, sold to developers, or turned into parkland could be made at a community meeting at the Nesconset Library on Thursday night.
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