Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter is proposing a $253,324,022 budget that...

Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter is proposing a $253,324,022 budget that would boost spending by about 2.09%. Credit: James Carbone

Islip residents may see a slight cut in their town property taxes next year despite a projected $5.2 million spending increase, Supervisor Angie Carpenter said Thursday.

Carpenter is proposing a $253,324,022 budget that would boost spending by about 2.09% and restore the last of the spending cuts made over the past year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Islip officials also hope to step up improvements at town parks, Carpenter said.

The total tax levy is expected to decrease by about 0.77% — or $4 for the average home, she said.

"We've really been very conservative in our budgeting," said Carpenter, a Republican. "We have a responsibility to do the best we can for our residents. We are all too aware that we are a high-tax region."

The town board has scheduled a public hearing on the budget for 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 4. The board plans to vote on the budget immediately after the hearing.

The town was able to cut proposed taxes while boosting spending because of increased revenue from mortgage taxes and $47.5 million Islip received from the federal coronavirus relief bill, Carpenter said.

About 67% of the town's expected $5.2 million spending hike is tied to a $3.5 million increase for trash contracts, Carpenter said. Bids for contracts in the town's seven garbage districts came in much higher than past deals, likely due to increased trash collections as residents cleaned out their basements and made home improvements during the pandemic, she said.

Spending for other town departments is expected to go up about $2.3 million, or 1.6%, from $147.6 million this year to $149.9 million next year, because of wage hikes contained in new contracts for white-collar and blue-collar town employees, Carpenter said.

The town's overall year-round staff of 728 workers probably will stay essentially flat, Carpenter said.

The town this year canceled some events because of continued concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, she said. A popular annual apple festival in Sayville was scrubbed because positive COVID-19 tests spiked over the summer, she said.

Town officials hope to restore that festival and other programs next year, she said.

Islip also plans to jump-start park improvements that had stalled amid the pandemic, she said. Those projects include plans to renovate Ross Memorial Park in Brentwood, which was closed last year because of public safety concerns, and Byron Lake Park in Oakdale, she said.

Islip Town Hall in Islip hamlet is undergoing repairs to fix leaks and replace the roof, including the cupola that is lit up to raise awareness about issues such as drug abuse and breast cancer, she said.

"The cupola was ready to fall down and it wasn’t until we started lighting it for different things that we really noticed how bad it was," Carpenter said.

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