Islandia is getting a new park, already complete with a baseball diamond and parking.
The Town of Islip transferred ownership of the Old Nichols Road Park to the village in October. Now Mayor Allan Dorman plans to rename the park the Village of Islandia First Responders Memorial Recreational Field and to renovate it, adding another baseball diamond.
"The reason we pursued it is because it's in the village," Dorman said at a news conference in village hall. He pointed at a wall of photographs of five Islandia residents -- firefighters and a police officer -- who died responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "This wall will be moved to the baseball field."
Working with state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), state Assemb. Al Graf (R-Holbrook) helped smooth the land transfer through state government.
"You have the village, the town and the state working together," Graf said. "The smaller government gets, the more access people have to it."
He added: "The town maintains many parks. By actually giving this park to the village, it becomes the crown jewel of the village."
Islip Town was pleased to partner with Islandia on the transfer, said town spokeswoman Inez Birbiglia.
Dorman said he wants to build another ballfield on the 7-acre parcel and add scoreboards, bleachers, a concession stand and dugouts.
Dorman said he expects to cover the $1.8 million renovation costs with volunteer work and donations. He has lined up donations for the bathrooms, dugouts, and two $12,000 scoreboards, and he hopes to lay artificial turf on the field.
"The goal of the village is to not pay for anything," he said. He hopes to begin construction next year.