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Islip Town approves $21 million capital budget

The Islip Town Board, in a 3-2 vote, has adopted its approximately $21 million 2015 capital budget.

The budget includes nearly $10.77 million for the public works department, which will cover $6.25 million in road paving projects, according to the budget provided by the town. The town-owned Long Island MacArthur Airport, which has struggled with deficits and loss of airline carriers over the past several years, was allotted $1.58 million for projects including construction of a U.S. Customs facility.

This capital budget will "put in motion a sincere effort to address the needs of our town roads, buildings, infrastructure, parks, and at the very most to protect the assets of our town and our taxpayers," Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said at Tuesday's board meeting, where the resolution was passed.

Municipal bonds will be sold to fund capital projects that are approved throughout the year, officials said.

Councilmembers John C. Cochrane Jr. and Steven J. Flotteron, both Republicans, joined Carpenter in voting in favor. Councilmembers Anthony Senft, the board's sole Conservative Party member, and Republican Trish Bergin Weichbrodt dissented.

"While I certainly respect the hard work of the men and women who have put together this capital budget . . . I believe that it's more prudent this time that we become more specific in the way we plan to spend in the future and that bonding, including the liability of our spending today on our children and our children's children, is not the way to go," Senft said during the meeting.

Bergin Weichbrodt did not offer her reasons for voting no in the open meeting and declined after the meeting to discuss which items in the capital budget led her to oppose it.

"I'd prefer to keep the way that I'm going to vote on the bonds to myself, but my feeling is that the budget overall could have been more conservative," she said.

The $20,970,000 total town capital budget for 2015, which does not include for ambulances or special districts, is $3.8 million less than the projected request calculated last year, but $1.37 million more than 2014's capital budget, according to records provided by the town.

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