Newly elected First District County Legislator Al Krupski hit the ground running in his first week in office, partnering with County Executive Steve Bellone to cosponsor legislation for the purchase of the 314-acre North Fork Preserve property in Riverhead. A vote on the measure is expected at the Legislature’s February 5 meeting in Hauppauge.
“The North Fork Preserve property is a critical open space acquisition for Riverhead, the North Fork and all of Suffolk County,” said Legislator Krupski. “The North Fork Preserve has been called ‘Suffolk’s last great park’ and I agree with that description. The park, with fishing, hiking, camping and more, will be a highlight of the entire Suffolk County park system.”
The purchase process for the North Fork Preserve began in 2009 and the final step is now before the Legislature with Legislator Krupski’s resolution to buy the three remaining parcels along Sound Avenue. The three parcels total three acres and will be purchased for $702,000.
There are three existing structures on the parcels which will be used by the Suffolk County Parks Department for a caretaker residence and check-in station, a barn for parks maintenance equipment and a garage for park maintenance equipment and a with a small office area for parks personnel.
Legislator Krupski has been a leading advocate for open space preservation for decades, and was the lead person for open space matters during his time on the Southold Town Board. He said he looks forward to taking a leading role in county efforts to preserve key North Fork parcels. He was named a member of the Environment, Planning and Agriculture committees and is anxious to get to work on saving open space and farmland in his district. He is also a member of the Human Services, Budget and Finance, and Public Works and Transportation committees.
“The North Fork probably contains more of the most valuable pieces of open space and farmland than any other legislative district, although Legislator Jay Schneiderman might argue that point,” said Legislator Krupski. “The County Legislature has been in the forefront of open space preservation and protecting valuable farmland for decades and I am sure my colleagues and I will continue to add to that remarkable record.”