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Islip will spend more on pool and spray park in shuttered town park

Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood, March 30, 2016.

Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood, March 30, 2016. Its gates remain locked. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The Islip Town Board has authorized $115,000 in additional funds for survey work to be done by a Melville-based engineering firm for a new spray park at Roberto Clemente Park and the rehabilitation of its pool and playground.

The resolution, passed at a town board meeting on Oct. 18, amended a $43,600 contract awarded on Aug. 27, 2013, by the board for design services by Nelson & Pope Engineers and Surveyors that was for design services to fix the decrepit pool and for a new spray pad, according to the resolution and Caroline Smith, an Islip Town spokeswoman.

Partial work was completed on that contract, Smith said, for which the town paid the firm $38,000.

The Olympic-sized pool at Clemente Park was last open in summer 2012 before it was shuttered months later due to budget cuts, town officials said at the time. Local residents angered over the pool’s closure led town officials to announce plans to fix the facility at a news conference in August 2013, when they stood in the empty pool and vowed to reopen it by summer 2014.

In April 2014, the 27.9-acre Brentwood park was closed when 40,000 tons of contaminated construction and demolition debris, trucked in from New York City, was found dumped there. Islip Town spent $3 million in 2015 to clean it up, but its gates remain locked.

Six men were indicted in December 2015 for their roles in dumping at various sites in and around Islip Town. Thomas Datre Jr. pleaded guilty in March to several felonies for dumping at the park and four other Suffolk sites. Christopher Grabe of Islandia Recycling pleaded guilty alongside Datre Jr. for dumping at Clemente Park and a privately owned Central Islip site. Their sentencing is pending their involvement in the park’s reopening and cleanup of two other sites.

Two ex-Islip Town officials, former Parks Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr. and his former secretary, Brett A. Robinson, pleaded guilty in August to crimes that they had knowledge of the dumping and allowed it to continue. Last month, both men were sentenced to conditional discharges in that they continue to aid in fixing the park.

At a news conference in August, Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) announced he had secured $2 million in this year’s state budget to build a spray park there. Officials said then that the hope is to open the attraction by summer 2018.

The additional funding allocated by the town will be spent on the design, color rendering, permitting and bid documents for the spray park that is now included in the plans, Smith said.

Construction inspection services for the spray park and playground will also now be performed by Nelson & Pope, which will prepare the playground bid documents.

A start and completion date for the work has yet to be determined, Smith said. Calls to the engineering firm were not returned.


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