Capital budget adopted
ISLIP TOWN—At the Islip Town Board Meeting Tuesday afternoon, the board adopted its 2016 Capital Budget, which amounted to a total of $44,561,000, by a slim margin of 3-2. The board also listened to varying concerns from the public, including testimony over unsavory living conditions at a Bohemia mobile home park and around Brightwaters Farms in Bay Shore.
Next year’s capital budget amounts to more than twice the current year’s and includes $11 million for a new Federal Inspection Services Customs facility at Long Island MacArthur Airport, which would allow for international flights at the facility. It also allocates $6.5 million to improve infrastructure for the Exchange Ambulance of the Islips. More than $3 million will also go towards road drainage and dredging improvements.
“This is larger than last year’s budget mainly because of the projects at the airport,” said Supervisor Angie Carpenter. “We’ve gotten some commitments already for grant funding, so the total cost of the project is reflected in the budget.”
Carpenter and Councilmen John Cochrane Jr. and Steve Flotteron voted in favor of the spending plan. Meanwhile, Councilman Anthony Senft and Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt voted no.
Back in April, the town passed a $21 million capital budget for 2015, with $6.25 million earmarked for road paving projects. Both Senft and Bergin Weichbrodt voted against that budget as well.
Islip Town Comptroller Joseph Ludwig said that the actual costs of each project could change as the year progresses, depending upon whether or not outside funding becomes available. The budget could also be adjusted to either add or remove specific projects.
During the public portion of the meeting, Bohemia resident Charles Connors spoke on behalf of a group of residents living in the Bunker Hill portion of the Bunker/Valley mobile home park, which consists of over 300 homes inhabited mostly by seniors. He voiced frustration over an ongoing lack of maintenance, oversight and accountability by the property owners.
“Conditions are deteriorating fast,” said Connors. “Driveways are collapsing, and trees are so overgrown that they’ve become storm hazards. Meanwhile, we have to maintain this property at our own expense.”
He noted that residents have been trying to band together to combat the situation to mixed results and limited feedback, and asked town officials to get involved on their behalf.
“We are taxpayers,” said Connors. “We vote and obey the law, but get no representation from the county or the town. I think it’s a big shortfall on the town’s part, and I think we should be treated better. I believe these are simple fixes, but without somebody bigger than us to protect us, these landlords aren’t going to come forward.”
Carpenter referred Connors to public safety officials to discuss the matter further.
Elsewhere, a family residing on Locust Avenue in Bay Shore came forward to shed light on the negative impacts a compost facility at Brightwaters Farms on Manatuck Boulevard has had on those living nearby.
“There’s a horrible stench,” said Edward Purcell. “It’s supposed to be a farm, but you can see commercial trucks running in there at all hours all the time.”
“The farm is really bad and getting worse by the day,” said David Purcell, Edward’s son. “The smell is still there. You can really taste it. Neighbors have said that if they knew it was there they wouldn’t have moved there.”
“The town board has allowed this farm to turn into a commercial business,” said Laurie Purcell. “This is my neighborhood. Get the compost pile removed.”
The next Islip Town Board meeting will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.
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