The Islip Town Board Tuesday voted to lease a 36-acre network of sports fields in Central Islip to a developer who hopes to replace them with a $20-million sports complex.

The agreement, approved unanimously during a special board meeting in Town Hall, allows developer Andy Borgia to move forward on an application for a $19-million stimulus loan, and stipulates he must build a new home for the Central Islip Little League, which will be displaced by the deal.

Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan said the town expedited the vote on the lease to help Borgia meet the loan application deadline of Dec. 31. The town must still review the developer's site plan and issue construction permits.

The board's move represents a resolution of a dispute that had led Little League parents - who said the project threatened their children's access to the playing fields - to protest the development.

In an agreement brokered by town officials, the developer will refurbish town-owned fields on nearby Eastview Drive, and build bathrooms and a concession stand there for the Little League.

There remains one sticking point: the dislocation of the Little League during the 2011 season, when both the complex and the league's new home will be under construction, town officials and the Little League's attorney said.

The town is in discussions with the Central Islip school district about having Borgia refurbish six of the district's ballfields and making them available to the Little League for next year's season, town and district officials said.

Richard DaVolio, a Patchogue attorney who represents the Little League, said the league is not happy with the prospect of moving to a transitional home, and said details such as bathroom access and concession stands remain unresolved.

Lawrence Philips, the school district's athletic director, said Tuesday that if the board of education approves the deal, the renovation of school fields "would be a win-win. We would have them forever."

Supporters say the 36-acre Ultimate Game Sports Complex on Carleton Avenue - with private indoor and outdoor fields for baseball, soccer, lacrosse and football - would boost the local economy. Borgia has said the project would create 75 to 100 full-time jobs, and that he would give preference to local residents when hiring.

Under the 50-year lease approved Tuesday, Ultimate Game Sports will pay the town $65,000 per year, adjusted for inflation, as well as an annual payment of $50,000 - in lieu of taxes for the first 20 years, and after that for either open-space purchases or infrastructure improvements.

Latest videos