Islip Town adopts 2019 budget
ISLIP TOWN—Members of the Islip Town Board unanimously adopted the town’s $234 million budget for 2019 during a public hearing last Thursday morning, Nov. 8. The budget, which is up $5.8 million from last year, is still tax cap compliant, according to officials.
The operating budget, which translates to an extra $28 annually for an average assessed $400,000 home, goes towards three major funds: the General Fund, the Highway Fund and the Town Outside Village. These funds include costs for snow plowing and maintenance for beaches, parks and pools, according to Islip Town comptroller Joseph Ludwig.
Ludwig and other town officials stressed that the budget does not cut any services or programs. Officials have also stated that due to the town’s AAA credit rating, they were able to withstand an upwards of 7.5 percent increase to health insurance costs.
Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said during last week’s meeting that the increases are partly due to contracts that were settled this year with the United Public Service Employees Union’s blue- and white-collar units, related payroll tax, retirement and health insurance benefits and two major projects.
These projects include a new 19,000-square-foot animal shelter in Central Islip and the final phase of the Bay Shore Marina restoration, which has been in the works for decades. Late this summer, the town also completed the re-opening of Roberto Clemente Park with a reconstructed swimming pool.
Carpenter says 2019’s budget retires $18.8 million in outstanding debt, while 2018’s retired $17.5 million in debt. “Everything costs money,” she said, adding that public safety responded to over 12,000 calls last year.
According to officials, the $34.4 million capital budget is used for improvements to town facilities in need of repair, including bulkheading, ramps and playground equipment. These items would require a subsequent bond approval vote before the funds can be spent, officials added.
This budget is slightly smaller than 2018’s $36 million capital plan.
Carpenter was also authorized to enter into a contract with Laser Industries Inc., a Ridge-based contractor, for the Bay-Way Corridor Project in Bay Shore.
The $2.15 million project, which is mostly funded through a $1.6 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation, looks to refurbish a mile-long path on Maple Avenue that goes from the Bay Shore train station, through the downtown, to the Fire Island ferry terminals.
The next town board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.
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