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Islip to use 2 grants to restore pool, boat services
The Islip Town board Tuesday used grant funding to restore two resources that had been slashed from the 2013 budget.
The board voted at its regular meeting to accept a $300,000 grant from the Community Development Agency to fund repairs to Roberto Clemente Park pool in Brentwood, and a grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation that will allow the town to again offer pump-out boat services this summer, for a fee.
Funds to operate Roberto Clemente Park pool and Casamento Park pool in West Islip were axed from the 2013 budget, but disgruntled residents launched petitions and protests and spoke out at town board meetings. Community activists from Brentwood accused the board of unfairly cutting resources in a low-income area of Islip in its effort to close a projected $26 million budget shortfall.
After the uproar, town officials said they were working to secure a private partnership in order to reopen at least one of the pools by Memorial Day, and indicated that a Community Development Agency grant could help fund needed maintenance and repairs for the aging Brentwood pool.
“Everyone over in the CDA, they deserve a big pat on the back for this,” Councilman John Cochrane said as the resolution was approved.
The town also voted to implement a $5 fee for its pump-out boat, which has traveled the Great South Bay for the last seven summers and serves roughly 1,000 customers from Memorial Day to the end of September.
The grant from the Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Clean Vessel Assistance Program will reimburse 50 percent of the costs up to $5,000 to run the pump-out boat program, said Eric Hofmeister, commissioner of the environmental control department. Charging a fee, he said, will help the town afford the program.
Hofmeister said the pump-out boat will operate on weekends and holidays, and that boaters can pay for the service using a credit card or cash.
The town also has four free pump-out stations available around the clock, located at Browns River Dock in Bayport, Bay Shore Marina, East Islip Marina and Atlantique Beach Marina.