Central Islip’s downtown has taken another step toward revitalization with the securing of funding to pay for a new sewer line.
Islip Town announced Thursday that it is receiving $3 million in federal funding toward the line, which will run more than half a mile down Carleton Avenue, from Suffolk Avenue south to Smith Street. Sewer infrastructure is considered a crucial part of the town’s plans for $10 million in state Downtown Revitalization Initiative, or DRI, funds, which it received in 2018.
“This is the last piece,” said Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter at a news conference in a downtown parking lot that is slated to be the site of a three-story multiuse building with 100 apartments. “This is the kind of thing that people don’t see but it really helps make it all happen.”
Carpenter said the $3 million — secured by Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport) through a HUD grant with assistance from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — will complete the funding needed for the sewer line. The town received $7.5 million from a federal department of commerce grant, as well as $2 million from the DRI and $1 million from the town’s Industrial Development Agency.
“This is very exciting because this project is going to change the rest of this community, change it for the better,” Garbarino said, adding that a lack of sewers is “a serious problem and a barrier to doing business on Long Island.”
Garbarino said installing the line will also help the environment by reducing nitrogen runoff into the Great South Bay.
“Sewers are something that business leaders and environmentalists can agree on,” he said.
Debbie Cavanagh, president of the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, said sewers will be a “game changer” for developers coming into the downtown.
“Hopefully it will upgrade the whole area,” she said.
Carpenter said the town is “not looking to necessarily kick anyone out,” and existing businesses can apply for town grants to make facade improvements in line with the revitalization.
John Cameron, managing partner of Cameron Engineering, which has been hired by the town, said that the work will go out to bid next month and construction will take 18 months. The line will be extended east and west of Carleton Avenue, he said, allowing residents to hook up. Cameron didn’t have an estimate on how many added gallons the new line will bring into the system but said an “oversized” line has been approved by the county to allow for growth.
Carpenter said her goal is to have that stretch of downtown Central Islip become a destination “so that people all over, not just the town, will say, ‘Let’s go to dinner in CI. . . because they have all these great restaurants and entertainment and galleries.’ That’s my hope.”