Beagle Club purchase gets unanimous support in committee

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The Beagle Club's sign was in the barn as of 2005.

A county proposal to buy as open space the 150-acre Beagle Club property in Calverton took a step forward Monday and is now expected to come for a vote before the full county Legislature next Tuesday, according to Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches).

The Legislature’s environment, planning & agriculture committee, which had postponed a vote on recommending the acquisition in January, voted unanimously in favor of it on Monday.

The county is proposing to buy the land, on the west side of Edwards Avenue, north of Route 25 and south of Sound Avenue, for $8.9 million.

The proposed acquisition had become embroiled in a debate among legislators over the future of the county’s open space acquisition program, as some legislators felt the county’s finances weren’t in good enough shape to support continued open space acquisition.

But Mr. Romaine said the same legislators who were raising those concerns in committee in January supported the acquisition Monday.

“It passed unanimously, so I fully expect it will be adopted by the full legislature next Tuesday,” Mr. Romaine said Monday. “The outlook is very positive.”

Next Tuesday’s meeting will be in Hauppauge.

Mr. Romaine said various environmental and land planning organizations had lobbied the county to make the acquisition.

Pam Greene, the county’s real estate director, said in January that the money for the Beagle Club purchase is already in the county budget.

The Long Island Beagle Club, founded in 1932, used to train beagles on the property for hunting. In 2006, a developer was under contract to buy the land and create 73 clustered residential lots on the property. That proposal later fell through and the county has since taken steps toward acquiring the site.

Open space acquisitions are paid for with funds from a voter-approved, quarter-penny sales tax, money that is set aside for this purpose.

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