The new headquarters for the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company was officially opened on Sept. 17. The project started almost a decade ago, when Keith Romaine, then councilman of the sixth district, worked with the company leaders to find a new place to house operations. It was then taken over by current councilman Dan Panico, who said that this is just the beginning for the community of Mastic Beach.
“I am 100 percent committed to doing everything that I have in my power as your councilman,” he said. “I will tear down every single home that needs to be torn down. We will go after every single slumlord who puts their pecuniary gain over the people of this neighborhood.”
Panico added that he’s received comments that the building is beautiful and looks out of place on Neighborhood Road, but he responds by saying that much that surrounds the building is out of place. Officials, including Suffolk County clerk Judith Pascale, who grew up in the community, lamented a better time decades ago. They hope to return to a vibrant community in the near future.
“What we can do is turn the page on a new chapter for Mastic Beach,” Panico continued.
Officials are hopeful and optimistic that the ambulance building will be the first domino in the revitalization of Mastic Beach.
“This building is a testament to how government can work for the citizens of a community,” said Charles Voelger, chief of the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company.
The building cost $9.5 million in a bond secured in 2016. Construction started almost a year ago. It was previously a vacant supermarket, and officials said the owner has other properties that are blighted as well. The building has five vehicle bays and can hold 15 vehicles.