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Islandia's 2017 budget counts on revenue from yet-to-open casino

Officials said routine construction-related issues will delay the

Officials said routine construction-related issues will delay the opening of a Suffolk OTB casino in Islandia until February. Photo Credit: Edmund J. Coppa

The Islandia village board has narrowly passed a $4.4 million budget for 2017.

At the board’s Nov. 29 work session, Mayor Allan Dorman and trustees Barbara Lacey and Patty Peters voted to approve the budget. Trustee Diane Olk voted against the budget. Deputy Mayor Michael Zaleski was absent.

The new budget cuts taxes by 25 percent for the average household - a result of the revenue from an agreement to develop a Suffolk OTB video casino in the Islandia Marriott hotel. It also calls for an increase in spending over the current $3.2 million budget.

In an interview after the vote, Olk said the new budget is spending revenue from the casino deal that hasn’t been guaranteed yet and may be delayed by legal challenges.

“It’s counting on this money, but I don’t know if that money is coming in right now. There’s still a lawsuit,” Olk said, referring to a lawsuit filed by casino opponents in state Supreme Court in Riverhead in September in an attempt to block it.

She noted that the state Gaming Commission also needs to grant approval for the 1,000-slot machine facility, which was due to open this month but now is slated to open in February.

Olk also said she was concerned about the budget’s spending increase.

“If this casino goes through, he’s looking to spend a lot of money and only giving a 25 percent tax break,” she said.

Dorman has previously said that taxes will also be slashed by another 25 percent in the 2018 budget.

Dorman said in an interview that Olk did not read the budget before voting against it. “She voted no without reading it,” he said, and added, “Her job as a public official is to analyze everything and then to make a vote, an intelligent vote.”


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