I favor preserving this land parcel untouched and in its natural state. I sympathize, though, with St. Johnland's desire to utilize its own property for a continuing care retirement community. I am sure it would benefit our community.

But I feel that both goals can be achieved through an exchange of land at the Kings Park Psychiatric Center for property that St. Johnland currently seeks to develop. Such an exchange would enable the community to extend existing parkland and present St. Johnland with land more suitable to commercial development.

The key, however, is remediation of the State property to be swapped to St. Johnland as a part of an overall State plan.

None of this can be done piecemeal. As soon as the State announces its final plan for the entire hospital parcel... a decision due before the end of the month... it should move quickly to amicably affect the proposed land transfer with St.Johnland. This should include remediation of the parcel using a portion of the 25 million dollars already set aside for that purpose. Any such move must be part of the overall hospital remediation plan.