Kevin VeseyAug 2, 2017, 10:47 pmAug 3, 2017, 7:13 am

Hicksville wins $10M grant to revitalize downtown in statewide competition

Improvements will happen alongside the creation of a brand new LIRR station

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With multiple fast-moving lanes of traffic, Hicksville’s downtown area wasn't exactly designed with pedestrians in mind.

“We almost got hit by a car just crossing the street. There are so many places to eat, so many things to do. We want to go out in the evenings, but it's difficult to walk,” Hicksville resident Anish Parikh said.

And that's why the sidewalks here can sometimes look like a ghost town but state and local governments are hoping to change all that.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Town of Oyster Bay would be the recipient of a $10 million state grant to revitalize the downtown area, which officials say will give Hicksville the community feeling it deserves.

It's still to be decided exactly what the improvements will be but some ideas on the drawing board include a town square where events could be held as well as new sidewalks, pedestrian pathways, bike paths and better cross walks.

And the effort appears to be bringing Republicans and Democrats together, a rarity in politics these days.

Republican Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino called Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo an incredible leader and thanked him for choosing Hicksville for the grant.

“It's an incredible opportunity to continue our momentum and keep Hicksville and the Town of Oyster Bay moving forward into the next decade at lightning speed,” Saladino said.

At this point, a planning committee made up of community representatives and public officials will lay the groundwork for the revitalization. No word yet on when a blueprint will be finalized.

“If they do invest that money it's a great long term strategy for them to reinvest in the community,” Parikh said.

These improvements to the downtown area will coincide with a $132 million rebuilding of the train station which is currently underway.

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