New animal shelter ahead
ISLIP TOWN—At the Islip Town Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, the board voted on a number of bond resolutions for both immediate and long-term purposes. Among them was a unanimous vote in favor of a $4,600,000 bond (not including a $500,000 state grant) for the construction of a new animal shelter. Meanwhile, a $4,250,000 bond designated for the fourth and final phase of reconstruction and improvements to marinas and bulkheading (including the Bay Shore and East Islip marinas) failed to pass by a vote of 3-2, with Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Councilwoman Mary Kate Mullen voting against. In addition, both a $3,600,000 and $1,000,000 bond were approved for terminal improvements and a Fire Rescue Building Communication System (currently under construction) at Islip MacArthur Airport, respectively. The town plans to seek FAA funding in the hope to reimburse some of the costs in the future.
Earlier in the meeting, multiple residents came forward to express their support for the new shelter facility.
“You all know how we feel about the disgraceful state of the crumbling animal shelter,” said Brightwaters resident Sharon Sevino. “When a state of emergency is declared due to a natural disaster, people reach out to the shelters asking for help…Even if you don’t care about animals, think about people who are forced to evacuate not knowing that they have a safe place for their pets. We need to have the space and resources to help all animals and people in the town.”
“If we were to judge the town by its animal shelter, it would be shameful,” said Islip resident Judy C. “Animals are among the most vulnerable and innocent members of our community, and they need a better place to stay.”
Elsewhere, West Sayville resident Robert French – a council representative with the Carpenters Union – came to speak as an advocate for apprenticeship programs related to the Heartland Town Square project.
“I want to express my disappointment in the town board’s decision to not adopt the recommendations of the Suffolk County Planning Commission for apprenticeship language in Heartland,” said French. “Not all of our youth – both men and women – are afforded the opportunity to go to a four-year college. It’s very important to give a leg up to our youth and communities. It’s a great disappointment that the town has missed this opportunity.”
Regina Kelly, general manager of AutoPlane LLC, spoke out to voice her displeasure with the passing of a “secret” referendum at the last board meeting to allow another auto transporter/broker the space to operate in an area adjacent to the company’s current location at MacArthur Airport. AutoPlane is an auto-transport carrier service specializing in weekly scheduled trips between Long Island and Florida.
“It would probably be a safety concern,” said Kelly. “My hope is that the communication between you – our landlord – and us can get better. We have a mutual interest to continue to make Long Island MacArthur a great, safe place to frequent and continue to grow…Whatever the plans may be, we’d like to be a part of it because we’ve been there operating successfully.”
“I concur with your wishes and desires for better communication,” responded supervisor Angie Carpenter. “We recently had a meeting with the commissioner, and we will have better communication going forward.”
On another topic, Bay Shore resident Ira Powell Jr. voiced complaints over the current pay-for-parking situation for commuters at the Bay Shore Train Station.
“As a lifelong Bay Shore resident, I think people born and raised in Bay Shore should not have to pay for parking meters,” said Powell. “As taxpayers, you should do more for us where we live instead of putting taxes on us. I want to see things done better and I think we can do that if we come together.”
In other business, the board unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the supervisor to execute an extension of contract with Suffolk County for a Round 10 Downtown Revitalization Agreement for the hamlets of Sayville and West Sayville. Of the $100,000 allocated, $70,000 would go to the former and $30,000 for the latter. The costs are to be shared 50/50 between the town and the county in accordance with the approval of grant funds. Of the $50,000 granted by the county, $35,000 is set aside to go towards the installation and improvement of pedestrian walkways to connect town parking lots with Sayville’s Main Street, while $15,000 will fund streetscape enhancements on Main Street in West Sayville, including the installation of decorative streetlights and brick pavers on Montauk Highway.
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