Just one year ago, Islip Town officials gathered and tentatively planned the goals for 2020 – but they never anticipated a global pandemic would stand in their way, town supervisor Angie Carpenter said.
“We certainly did not plan 2020 to be what it turned out to be,” she said.
Despite the hardships the pandemic wrought on Islip Town, officials were still able to accomplish some of those goals, Carpenter said, and they aim to “move forward in a positive direction – and hopefully get through COVID.”
Long Island MacArthur Airport
Last year, the town board had planned to elevate Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma by securing new services.
Town representatives had to realign their objectives with COVID-19 in mind, Carpenter said, which led them to be the first airport in the United States to implement the CASPR air technology system, which removes 99.9 percent of pathogens from the air. The tool allegedly kills coronavirus germs through an HVAC system.
Moreover, MacArthur airport was once again a nominee for the USA Today “10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Small Airport.” The public can vote on their favorite airport nominee via the 10Best website.
Across all departments, the town is working to convert from paper to digital technology, Carpenter said, including tax receiver payments, planning board permits and more.
“We have always been focused on technology here, but when COVID-19 hit and most of us were mandated to work from home, our information technology department really turned things around and made sure we could function,” Carpenter said.
Safety and cleanup
A number of Islip Town residents have expressed concern with unsecured or vacant dwellings. Through continued partnership with local police, Carpenter said, the town is working to clean up or demolish those sites whereas necessary.
For several years, the town has worked to enhance the department of public safety enforcement by helping personnel develop skills when interacting with the public sphere. The town recently conducted a workshop about techniques on how to de-escalate dangerous circumstances.
“We’ve really tried to enhance training for all of our staff, especially in public safety,” she said.
In addition to improving the recycling systems throughout the town, officials are in the process of receiving a permit from the town Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the Bay Bottom Licensing Program.
Carpenter said she aims to obtain an additional 1,500 more acres of bay bottom land in the Great South Bay by 2022, which will be used for oyster cultivation and bay water purification.
“It’s quite an exciting time to be a town supervisor – I’m very fortunate,” Carpenter said.