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C. Islip school district could recover $42M

Central Islip Senior High School on Wheeler Road.

Central Islip Senior High School on Wheeler Road. (April 13, 2011) Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

The governor’s signature is all that’s needed before the Central Islip school district can recover almost $42 million in state construction aid after a bill approving the funds passed Tuesday in the State Senate.

Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) and Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) introduced legislation at the district’s request after the discovery it would lose more than $27 million in pending state aid and would have to pay back $13.5 million in aid already received because of late paperwork.

Most of the aid dates to a project for renovation and improvements to existing buildings and one addition at the high school.

The project was approved by taxpayers with a special bond vote in June 2000, and the work was mostly completed by 2003, said Craig Carr, district superintendent.

“This was money that was promised us,” Carr said. “Taxpayers only agreed to take on this project because the state was willing to assist,” he said.

If Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signs the bill, “we will remain whole and the state would remain true to the promise it made to the 40,000 taxpayers of Central Islip,” Carr said.

The bill is expected to be sent to the governor later this summer.

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