After being first introduced in 2011, Suffolk County is moving forward with a program that could result in a public-private partnership at the Commerdinger Homestead in Nesconset, where a private party cleans up the home built in 1810 in return for a lease on the property.
According to Newsday, the Suffolk County Parks Department is moving forward with two of five projects initially proposed for the plan, one in Elwood and another in Hampton Bays. Should the partnerships prove beneficial, the Commerdinger property and as well as two others will likely move forward.
The program, accoridng to the legislation sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley, D-Babylon, noted that it would "meet the goal of preserving historic buildings while recognizing the County's budgetary constraints, (and) a pilot program should be created under the Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation to seek responsible private parties willing to invest in the restoration of these structures and occupy them following restoration."
A certain amount of public access would be required as part of the lease.
The county is reportedly planning on putting out a request for expressions of interest by the end of the month, followed by formal requests for proposals on the first two projects.
The Commerdinger Homestead was purchased by Suffolk County in 2006, dates back over 200 years and has been home to several notable families including the Blydenburghs.
The Walter S. Commerdinger Preservation Society claims the property has also been a home to the Smiths, the Hallocks, the McCormicks and most recently, the Commerdingers. It is located within the 90 acres known as Lily Pond Park.
Sara Walsh contributed to this report.