Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter on Thursday spoke of the town’s improved finances and her belief in a brighter future in her annual State of the Town speech.
She focused on a March report by Moody’s Investors Service ratings agency that upgraded the town’s general obligation debt rating from Aa1 to AAA with a stable outlook.
“This upgrade by Moody’s in the Town of Islip’s bond rating is very reassuring, and certainly affirms that the policies and procedures that were put into place when I took on the responsibility of this office last year are working,” she said in her speech at Town Hall in Islip.
Carpenter also praised the work of her team of commissioners and town officials, many of whom were newly appointed or reassigned in the past year.
New or reassigned commissioners include the Department of Environmental Conservation’s James Heil; Thomas Owens, who now oversees both the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Department of Public Works; and the Planning Department’s Ronald Meyer. On Tuesday, the town board approved the appointment of Shelley LaRose Arken as the new Commissioner of Aviation and Transportation to lead the town-owned Long Island MacArthur Airport. New and reassigned town officials include Town Assessor Anne Danziger and Town Attorney Mea Knapp.
Carpenter said the town’s budget has remained under the state tax cap and residents this year were paying a 1.58 percent tax increase. She also hailed increased activity among local real estate and construction markets as a sign of economic health. “A total of 8,812 building permits were issued in 2015, an increase of 8 percent over 2014 and this year is trending upward,” she said.
She touched on developments at LIMA, with state and Suffolk County support to build a customs facility for commercial flights, and two new airlines slated to begin service out of the airport in Ronkonkoma.
Carpenter also referred to the status of the cleanup from the dumping scandal at Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park, where tens of thousands of tons of contaminated fill was discovered on the soccer field and a recharge basin.
“A very high priority for the town is the reopening of Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood. We have formed an advisory committee of community residents, as we await approval from the NYS DEC so that we can move forward with the restoration of Roberto Clemente Park,” she said, referring to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
She did not mention the town’s efforts to recoup the costs of the cleanup with a $4 million federal racketeering suit against more than three dozen people and companies the town said had joined together to unlawfully dump the debris.