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Brushes Creek, Laurel. Courtesy photo: Jerry Cibulski

County approves funding to preserve 26 acres along Brushes Creek in Laurel

Funding is in place for the purchase of nearly 26 acres along Brushes Creek in Laurel for open space preservation. 

The Suffolk County Legislature yesterday approved spending of more than $1.9 million toward the purchase of six parcels along Brushes Creek in Laurel for open space preservation and wetland protection. Southold Town will pay the balance of the total $2,131,750 purchase price with Community Preservation Fund money.

The six properties north of Peconic Bay Boulevard — five contiguous upland parcels and one wetland piece owned by four different entities— comprise just under 26 acres. Combined, they have approximately 98 feet of road frontage on Peconic Bay Boulevard and 1800 feet along Brushes Creek, according to town documents. 

“This was a long journey,” Suffolk County legislator Al Krupski said. “There was some old drinking water money and we were able to free it up. Every town was allotted  a certain amount and Southold had a balance.” The drinking water protection program is funded by a countywide sales tax of one quarter of one percent, which was approved and extended by referenda of Suffolk County voters. The town’s Community Preservation Fund is funded by the 2-percent transfer tax on real estate transactions, also authorized by voter referendum.

The properties to be acquired are listed in Southold Town’s Community Preservation Project Plan as properties that should be preserved for open space and wetland protection purposes and were suggested by the Southold Land Preservation Committee.

The town board in August approved approved the expenditure of $447,668, Southold’s 21-percent share of the acquisition cost.

Owners TriState Capital Holdings LLC and Capital Asset Retirement Fund LLC both of Eastport, and Hallock Holding Corp. and Jeffrey Hallock of Jamesport have agreed to the terms of sale.

The properties are located within the Agricultural-Conservation zoning district and partially within the R-40 zoning district. Limited recreation use will be allowed under the terms of the county’s preservation program, Krupski said.