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Thomaston names LIRR committee

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Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:00 pm

A subcommittee has been appointed in Village of Thomaston to come up with suggestions to submit to the Long Island Railroad regarding a proposed pocket track extension in the village.

At a regular meeting Monday at village hall, the board of trustees unanimously approved 17 volunteer members to the subcommittee and named Village of Thomaston Trustee Gary Noren as chairman.

Thomaston Mayor Robert Stern has said that the LIRR is ignoring village opposition to the plan and suggested at a special meeting last month that the town notify elected officials of their concern regarding the construction of the proposed pocket track.

The newly-formed subcommittee now has the authority to consult with the village attorney on matters regarding the LIRR, according to Stern.

"They can't do it unless it is an official body," said Stern.

The proposed pocket track extension is part of a $36 million project that would replace the century-old Colonial Road Bridge in Thomaston and improve drainage in the area.

With fears that proposed changes to the bridge might affect traffic flow on the street where he lives in Thomaston, a resident of Singley Court requested at the meeting that the board limit traffic on the street to vehicles with commercial or residential activities to preserve the character of the area.

"I think that we need to be proactive in changes that might be occurring to Thomaston and if we can make some of those changes before certain things happen it just might help to keep our court from becoming a common drive-through area," said the resident, who lives near the Colonial Road Bridge.

Stern said the issue will be discussed with the village attorney before a decision is made.

"We will see if we have the authority to do that," said the mayor.

The LIRR has said the project is an essential part of its plans to improve service on the heavily used Port Washington line, which includes bringing the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal in 2016.

Also at the meeting, Stern commented on a recent Great Neck News article regarding $8 million in grant money that has been rescinded by the state Legislature for a wide variety of area projects promised to villages and school districts.

Stern said the village of Thomaston recently received a previously approved state grant to fund construction of a village salt storage facility.

"This week we received a $100,000 reimbursement grant that Senator Johnson got for us," said Stern. "We were one of those that squeaked through."

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