According to  the September 24, 2018  minutes of the  Public works committee ,  they again tabled  a vote on the Heartland  sewer connections,   following  3 months of tabling  votes on the issue  in order  to do more research about the total impact on the area.  At one  of the  legislative hearings an engineer pointed out that the land sits over o watershed. There is a process to  force a vote  before  the   full legislature. That process  has failed  because 10 legislators did not sign the  discharge petition.

 The Heartland project is to be built in Brentwood, off of Commack Rd. There are questions about whether a new environmental impact statement is required because the original one is too out of date. There are now so many  apartment complexes to be built through 2019,  that  will need water and sewerage that the environmental   impacts have changed. The Bay  sewerage treatment plant, to which Heartland will connect, does  not remove nitrogen from  wastewater causing  our waterways to  suffer from blue green algae and  brown tide  often closing shellfish  fishing. . The Bay  sewer processing  plant is 50 years old and needs to be rebuilt to remove  nitrogen form the waste water.  

The  Brentwood Board of Education,  along with the Four Towns Civic Association and a local attorney have filed a lawsuit in Riverhead Supreme Court against the Town of Islip and Pilgrim East L.P. to stop this project.  You can follow  the lawsuit on the NY  "ecourts" site  case NO. 17-05732. The plaintiffs  claim that the school district  cannot handle the amount of students that would move into the apartments.  They dispute the developers estimate of about 1500 additional  students . The school estimates 7000 additional students based on housing statistics available now. 

 Four Towns civic association represents residents from   4 Townships; Islip, Babylon, Huntington and Smithtown, because  they all  surround the Pilgrim  state property.  The group was initially formed to monitor  the development of this former  state   hospital  land.. In March, 2017 this Heartland  project was  approved by the Suffolk County planning  board. Then the  Islip Town Board ,which controls  local zoning of the  former Pilgrim Psych center property,  finalized their approval. The full proposal is to build 9000 apartments , 26,000 square feet of office space and 560,000 square feet of retail space on the  land .  Currently  construction  has been approved for 3500 apartments. Initially, the Islip Town  zoning  required  one house per acre for  this land, but this was  modified  on behalf of the development.

All across New York state,   state managed  hospitals were closed and the land put up for sale under the guidance of Governor Pataki. The  basis  for selling them was to  recover enough  cash to fully pay off the New York state bonds that were used to fund and maintain the buildings.  Thus most of  the land was not set aside as public space, however the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College was created  from a parcel of land from Pilgrim State in the 1980s. NY put  452  acres  of Pilgrim  State  Hospital  up for bid in the late nineties.

A jail  was built on the land  by Governor Hugh Carey. It was later closed, AS PROMISED, by Govenor   Mario Cuomo because of the  civic protests. Then  it was suggested that an intermodal transfer station be built so tractor trailers could pick up  freight delivered by LIRR trains running on the Deer Park line tracks.   The trucks would then head out to Commack road and the expressway . The local civics fought this land use and were successful in changing the location. 

 BY Commack Community Association