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After some discord, Islip Town Board unanimously passes two bond resolutions

The Islip Town Board unanimously passed two bond resolutions this week -- totaling $12,190,000 in capital funds -- after nearly a month of negotiations and two failed attempts to get the required supermajority of votes.

Starting at a May 26 town board meeting, the council members unanimously passed two bond resolutions: a 10-year, $400,000 bond for various town facility capital improvements; and a 40-year, $950,000 bond resolution for drainage improvements. But at that meeting, along with another on June 9, two other bond resolutions -- requiring four of five "yes" votes to pass -- fell short, with council members Anthony S. Senft Jr. and Trish Bergin Weichbrodt dissenting.

Those remaining two bond resolutions -- a 15-year, $10.75 million resolution that includes $6.25 million for road reconstruction and paving and a new $1.4 million customs facility at Long Island MacArthur Airport; and a five-year, $1.45 million resolution for equipment like vehicles, security systems and tree removal tools-- passed 5-0 at Tuesday afternoon's board meeting.

In April, Senft and Bergin Weichbrodt voted down the adoption of a $21 million capital spending plan, which was later grouped together by project type and then translated into bond resolutions to authorize the selling of the bonds. At that time, Bergin Weichbrodt said she felt the "budget overall could have been more conservative."

"We've reached an agreement that is fiscally sound and continues to maintain the safety of our residents," Bergin Weichbrodt said yesterday in a phone interview.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said the negotiations included "a lot of discussion and communication," but would not elaborate on what disagreements were over or what concessions were made to get the votes.

Senft, the only board member in the Conservative Party, who was recently nominated by the Islip Republicans to run for a district judgeship in Suffolk County this November, said he had "no comment" on the negotiations process or why he changed his vote from a "no" to a "yes."

Senft and Bergin Weichbrodt disagreed with Carpenter over the two bond resolutions during a contentious point at the June 9 meeting, symbolizing -- according to some political observers in the town -- the first public fracturing of the governing body since Carpenter was sworn in on March 1.

Senft at that meeting objected to what he said was more than $300,000 for a camera screening room, which would require hiring additional staff to monitor new security cameras put throughout the town.

With Sophia Chang


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