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40 Islip employees take furloughs, save town $30,000

Islip Town Hall West at 401 Main St.

Islip Town Hall West at 401 Main St. (Aug. 1, 2011) Credit: Erin Geismar

Forty Town of Islip employees have participated in a voluntary furlough program this summer, saving the town roughly $30,000, town officials said Thursday.

The town began in June offering the option to employees to take unpaid days off as part of what town officials say is an effort to cut costs as the town grapples with a $26 million budget deficit.

The program is open to all employees except those in the Department of Parks and Recreation — those employees were not included because the department is especially busy during the summer — and is scheduled to continue until Sept. 29. The 40 employees have taken off a total of 170 days.

“We’re pleased with the level of participation,” said Inez Birbiglia, Islip’s spokeswoman.
“And given the statistics today, we expect that employees will participate through the period.”

Town Supervisor Tom Croci asked constituents Thursday in a written statement to weigh in on possible cuts to the town’s fiscal year 2013 budget, which Croci is scheduled to unveil in late September.

“[The budget in] 2013 will require sacrifice and hard choices,” Croci said. “We have cut our government down to the bone, but it is not enough.”

Echoing comments he made last week, Croci said massive layoffs, park and beach closures, and a decrease in other services are being considered in order to balance the budget.

Croci has already began cutting services and programs. The town board voted this spring to dissolve its Human Services Department, with Suffolk County and private groups taking over as service providers.

The town also recently announced a plan to pull funding from the Islip Arts Council for a combined projected savings of $1.5 million in 2013.

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