The Babylon Town Board has approved the issuance of $13.35 million in bonds to fund its 2017 capital plan.
The bonds, which the town issues annually, will finance a variety of improvements and additions to infrastructure, buildings, parks, and other properties owned by Babylon, board resolutions show.
The largest portion of the funding, $5.8 million, will go toward road repairs, according to Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez.
“Not only do our streets look better, but we get to protect our infrastructure as well,” he said.
Town buildings will get a slice of the funding as well; $1.5 million will support the reconstruction of the Town Hall Annex in North Babylon, a project that will cost an estimated $10 million in total, according to Town Spokesman Kevin Bonner. The new $10 million animal shelter under construction in North Amityville will receive $4.5 million this year.
Those bonds for the shelter were authorized in 2016, Bonner said, but will only be issued this year, bringing the total amount of bonds to be issued this year to $17.85 million.
Martinez said $18.02 million in debt also will be retired this year in keeping with the town’s policy of retiring more debt annually than it accrues.
Town parks and recreation facilities from Gilgo Beach to Deer Park will also see upgrades this year with the bond funding. $1.37 million will go to improvements at Phelps Lane Park in North Babylon, including new turf and lights for the soccer field. And a new dock and bulkhead will be installed at a boat marina on Great Neck Road in Copiague Harbor.
High-tech upgrades include a $12,000 scanner for the Town Department of Environmental Control, and $232,000 for improvements to security cameras and free Wi-Fi systems at town beaches.
“There’s also a concerted effort to make sure that we are hitting all our hamlets — that we are not just concentrating in one area,” Martinez said.
The projects included in this year’s capital plan were identified by the heads of various town agencies over the course of 2016, Martinez said. Except for some larger projects, they should all be completed by the end of 2017.
The town received credit ratings of AA+ from Standard & Poor’s and Aa1 from Moody’s in 2016, according to Babylon Town Comptroller Victoria Marotta. Both rank as the companies’ second-highest ratings.
The town pays back its general obligation bonds over 13-year periods on average at an interest rate of 2.25 percent to 3.5 percent, Marotta said.