Business Owners Raise Questions About LIRR’s Third Track Plans

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York taxpayers aren’t the only ones with questions about the governor’s $2 billion third track expansion plan for the Long Island Rail Road’s main line.

Some local business owners complain that they’re the real forgotten ones.

The Vogric family’s business is located next to the School Street LIRR tracks in Westbury, Nassau County. Machines making threaded nuts and rods are valuable turn-of-the-century products, say proud workers at Dependable Acme — a staple of the community for nearly 60 years.

“We don’t want to move,” owner Annette Farragher tells CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan. “We want to stay here to continue the business.”

The company was founded by Farragher’s grandfather and ownership has passed down through the generations.

“Moving was not part of the plan,” she said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

She says her father is even buried across the street so “he could keep an eye on the business.”

His dying wish may no longer be honored, as Dependable Acme is among several businesses with deep ties to the community that may be uprooted as part of Governor Cuomo’s proposal to expand the LIRR main line.

“They guys and I, we like to joke around if the lights are flickering around,” employee Abi Rivera said. “The old boss is still watching us.”

They say they’re watching the latest third track plan, which consists of ten miles between Floral Park and Hicksville and includes eliminating seven grade crossings which are deemed dangerous. Eminent domain takeovers will affect some privately owned businesses in Westbury, New Cassel, and New Hyde Park.

Following public hearings, commuters showed overwhelming support when they learned homes will not be torn down.

The LIRR has also pledged better service, reliability, and improved safety for its half-million daily riders.

But, what if it means three to four years of construction?

“The chamber of commerce in Floral Park has certainly come out strongly against this,” Floral Park businessman William Corbett said. He and his wife Ann are local business owners.

“As you can hear, we have noisy trains that go by but with the added construction and road closures, it’s going to affect stores and businesses around here,” Ann said.

CBS2 reports the property acquisitions would begin in 2018 and be staggered depending on where construction is taking place.

 

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