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Security cameras for Bay Shore LIRR station rejected by Islip board

Islip's town board narrowly rejected a $505,000 bond

Islip's town board narrowly rejected a $505,000 bond proposal that would have paid for improvements, including security cameras, at the LIRR station in Bay Shore. This train was at the station on Nov. 25, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

The Islip town board has narrowly rejected a $505,000 bond proposal that would have paid for improvements including the installation of security cameras at the Bay Shore Long Island Rail Road train station.

Council members Anthony Senft and Trish Bergin Weichbrodt voted against the bond at the Dec. 1 board meeting, while the board’s three remaining members — Supervisor Angie Carpenter and council members John Cochrane and Steven Flotteron — voted in favor. The bond required a supermajority vote to pass.

“I’m very disappointed,” Carpenter said after the vote. “This has been vetted for a long time. It’s bare bones now. We cut a lot back.”

She said she plans to reintroduce the bond proposal, which also includes acquisition of vehicles and equipment, tree removal and replacement, and upgrades meant to improve visibility on traffic signs, at the Dec. 15 board meeting. The security cameras were estimated to cost $300,000 of the total bond.

Senft declined to comment on the vote and Bergin Weichbrodt did not respond to requests for comment.

At the same meeting, the board unanimously passed three other bond measures — a $500,000 bond for improvements to marinas and bulkheads; a $150,000 bond for construction of sidewalks, facility improvements and acquisition of radios; and a $650,000 bond for the acquisition of heavy vehicles, heavy equipment, and improvements to town pools and recreational facilities.

Carpenter said security cameras are needed at the LIRR station in part as a defense against terrorist attacks like those in Paris last month, as well as because of quality-of-life concerns.

“There’s been an increase in loitering, prostitution, drug use” at some of the town’s train stations, she said. “This is just the first step” to improve safety. She credited Cochrane as “leading this effort” to advance the security camera program.

“What happened in Paris, we have to be vigilant and the more eyes that are out there, the more that we can capture bad things and bad people,” Cochrane said in an interview.

The Bay Shore train station will implement a paid parking program starting Jan. 4, including some metered spaces at $3 per day and others at 12 hours for $2.

Cochrane said the introduction of payment for parking at the station is another reason to add security measures.

“We’re not a police state and not trying to incorporate that at all. But if you’re going to have a parking program with kiosks and people opening wallets and purses to pay, you want security and people looking up and knowing there are cameras,” he said.

“If you’re paying money, you would want security,” Cochrane added. “These things are an integral part of doing business, securitywise, now.”

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