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Islip to get windmill, closer to getting new airline

Islip Town plans to erect a windmill at its East Islip marina and is in "serious" talks to bring another airline to Long Island MacArthur Airport, Supervisor Phil Nolan said Thursday in a State of the Town address.

Nolan declined to disclose the name of the airline, and after the speech said only that "it's a significant airline that would be a major addition. The talks are quite specific and serious. There are one or two others who are also in the game.

"There's a better than 50 percent chance it will have a new airline by the end of the year."

Airport Commissioner Teresa Rizzuto, who is working to attract both passengers and airlines to MacArthur, earlier this month said she had spoken with three airlines interested in opening Long Island routes. The airport currently is served by Southwest Airlines and US Airways.

MacArthur, owned and operated by Islip Town, last fall launched a marketing campaign selling itself as the no-hassle alternative to delay-prone LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark airports.

The town is moving forward on a plan to install a wind turbine in East Islip but has not yet secured funding, said Councilman John Edwards, chairman of the town's energy committee.

A wind study showed that a turbine as powerful as 50 kilowatts would perform well at the marina, he said. The town is exploring funding options, including federal and state grants and a private lease agreement, he said.

"We're looking under every rock," he said.

The turbine, which could cost between $200,000 and $300,000, would provide power for the marina's softball fields and shellfish hatchery, Edwards said.

Other initiatives announced Thursday morning at Town Hall include the purchase of a graffiti-removal truck and the completion of a brine facility, which will produce a saltwater solution to be spread on roads before snow falls.

In an interview, Nolan said graffiti is a "quality-of-life issue" that was underlined Thursday by the discovery of swastikas and hate messages scrawled on playground equipment near the Bay Shore marina.

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