Three weeks ago I was joined by Hempstead Supervisor Richard Guardino and newly appointed Deputy County Executive Peter Sylver for Economic Development to announce the first county-town sponsored, sustainable development initiative of Nassau's downtown and commercial corridors. The project will be implemented on Nassau Road in Roosevelt. The first step in effectuating this process will be a three-day charrette, scheduled for the first week in April 2002. The county and the Town of Hempstead will share the cost of the initiative equally.
People define communities by their commercial areas. Despite the strong families and communities in Roosevelt, this commercial strip along Nassau Road undeservedly defines this community in a negative light. We are going to change that. My goal is to develop a vision of Nassau Road that will encourage private investment and revitalize the commercial area, the image, and the pride of the Roosevelt community.
Partnering with the Town of Hempstead and Sustainable Long Island, a leader in responsible growth, we will bring about a new approach to development and growth in Roosevelt. The county, along with the town's new planning commission, will help to expand current revenue streams for redevelopment and explore enhanced community based approaches to planning.
The design process for the area will be led by Sustainable Long Island, an organization whose mission is to promote the economy, environment and equity for all Long Islanders, and Walkable Communities, Inc., a non-profit corporation specializing in urban planning. The project will be funded through the Nassau County's Office of Housing and Intergovernmental affairs with Federal grants designed to improve low and moderate income areas.
Charrettes are brief, intense design sessions that address urban problems or community visions comprehensively. The three-day planning process brings together community groups, local business groups, faith-based organizations, political leaders, and residents who will determine what their community will look like. This kind of neighborhood input is crucial to the project because no matter how much money is thrown at the problem unless the community is willing to role up it sleeves and pitch in the project will go nowhere.
Even though we are in a difficult economic crisis we will plan for the future of Nassau County, the first suburban county in the country. Here in Roosevelt and throughout Nassau County we will create sustainable, 'walkable' communities that empower residents as shareholders in their neighborhood's future. We will develop a comprehensive plan, on a community-by-community basis, to address transportation, open space, infrastructure, affordable housing and increasing the commercial tax base.
Economic development in Nassau County under this administration will focus on everything from attracting high-skilled, high-tech industry to neighborhood redevelopment. I am committed to the goal of making Nassau County the best county in the country, neighborhood by neighborhood.