Islip officials reopen shuttered pool to accommodate Brentwood residents
A shuttered West Islip pool is being reopened by Town of Islip officials to accommodate Brentwood residents as a criminal probe into illegal dumping keeps Roberto Clemente Park, the hamlet's largest town park with its only pool, closed indefinitely.
Casamento Park Pool, which the town had decided to close during budget proceedings last fall, will instead open on June 29, Islip Town officials said yesterday. The $160,000 operational budget that was earmarked to run Roberto Clemente Park's pool this summer will be used to open Casamento and also to provide free bus service and recreation programs to Brentwood residents.
Bus service will run June 30 to Sept. 1 with five stops, starting at the Brentwood Recreation Center and then Brentwood West Middle School, Casamento Park and pool in West Islip, Bay Shore Marina/Shipwreck Cove Spray Park/Benjamin Beach in Bay Shore and Town Hall West on Main Street in Islip.
Casamento Park Pool entrance fees for Brentwood residents will be reduced all summer from $7 to $4 daily, or 50 percent off a membership. Had the pool in Clemente Park been open, residents would have been charged $7 daily to use it.
Clemente Park was closed April 23 by the town as Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota began a criminal investigation into some 50,000 tons of debris laced with asbestos, petroleum-based products, heavy metals and pesticides dumped in the park by "at least one unscrupulous contractor."
No arrests have been made and the remediation project has yet to begin.
The pool in Clemente Park was set to reopen this summer after it was closed last year due to budgetary constraints. The $1.5 million mix of town funds and grants set aside to rehab the Olympic-sized pool -- work that will begin once remediation is done -- will be safeguarded, Town Councilman Anthony Senft said.
At a Wednesday night health and legal forum organized by Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood), residents were told by state and county health officials that their risk of contamination by the toxic materials dumped inside the park is "unlikely."
Martinez, along with Adrienne Esposito, a well-known Long Island environmental activist who is vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Senft for the 3rd District State Senate seat, called for a task force to be formed between state, county and town officials to create an even flow of information between agencies and residents.
Senft, in an interview Thursday, said town officials regularly meet with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, state and county health departments, district attorney and Suffolk County Water Authority and disseminate pertinent information to residents.
For summer day camp information, call 631-587-5172. For details on which recreation events are offered at each location, call the town at 631-224-5404 or visit www.townofislip-ny.gov.