Preparations for the Town of Islip’s annual Earth Day festival are going ahead, despite a cost-cutting decision by the board to not pay this year for radio ads to promo the flagship event in Sayville.
The decision not to fund the $11,000 in local radio advertising to bring in people beyond Islip would likely not significantly impact turnout, council members argued at a recent meeting. “We can’t just keep funding items because that’s how it’s been done in the past,” said councilman John Cochrane. “We need budget cuts.”
The town board has said it faces a $26 million budget shortfall and is taking a hard look at ways to raise revenue and cut costs. it has not ruled out a possible substantial tax increase, although three of the five council members ran on a platform of cutting taxes in their campaigns last November.
Commissioner of environmental control Eric Hofmeister said the April 21 event co-sponsored by the Sayville Chamber of Commerce will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gillette Park in Sayville. The rain date is April 22.
A flag ceremony with a local Boy Scout troop will kick off the festivities, with demonstrations by Ronkonkoma-based indoor sports facility Give It Your All Sports and Ovations Dance Academy of Bohemia and live music in the afternoon. There will be raffles with prizes donated by local businesses and the winners of the department’s Earth Day poster contest run through local school districts will be announced.
Homeowners can sign-up for free home energy assessments, courtesy of the Long Island Green Homes initiative. Children can take home white pine and Norway spruce seedlings to plant in their yards, as well as participate in animal exhibitions, face painting and bouncy houses.
The town’s twin recycling mascots — the frogs Wrap-It and Sort-It — will be on hand. Keep Islip Clean will collect used bicycles for refurbishing and distribution to Islip residents in need of a bike, and will provide T-shirt dying activities. A free book giveaway has been organized through local library donations and exchanges.
For more information, residents can visit the town’s Facebook page.