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Islip to hold public hearings about human services department

Islip Town Hall in an undated photo.

Islip Town Hall in an undated photo. Credit: Erin Geismar

Two public hearings on the proposed reorganization of the Islip department of human services are scheduled for Tuesday as part of the town board’s regular meeting.

While originally advertised for Connetquot State Park, the meeting will take place at Islip Town Hall in order to accommodate more residents, officials said.

In April, the board voted to authorize Supervisor Tom Croci to write a letter to Suffolk County to decline funding for Access/Acceso, the popular town-run drug and alcohol counseling program. The board also voted to create an Americans with Disabilities Act liaison position; both moves are part of the larger reorganization plan.

The plan would revert the Access/Acceso program to the county, dissolve several divisions within human services while moving some functions to other departments, move the senior services center to the parks and recreation department, and cut jobs and programs.

The plan would eliminate services such as the teen pregnancy program formerly funded by the state, but could save the town $1.6 million in 2013, said Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt. The changes would not take effect until Nov. 1, she said.

There are 113 full and part-time staff in the town’s human services department, and Bergin Weichbrodt said it would not be clear until August how many and who would lose their jobs.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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