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Islip Town Board votes for planned firefighters museum

Islip Town Hall in an undated photo.

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

The five-member Islip Town Board voted unanimously Tuesday to lease a one-acre parcel near Bethpage Ballpark to a nonprofit firefighters museum.

The action authorized the town to sign a 49-year pact with the Friends of Islip Town Firefighters Inc. for the plot on Courthouse Drive in Central Islip, where the Holbrook-based group plans to construct the museum, featuring vintage artifacts from the town's 21 departments.

Edward Tully, Jr., president of the firefighters group, said more than $500,000 has been raised for the project, which town firefighters have been planning for 15 years. The lease would charge the group $1 in annual rent.

The group plans to sign the lease by April, but has no timeline for when construction will begin on the building, which will initially be about 100 feet by 75 feet with an option to add square footage, said Tully, who is also a commissioner in the East Brentwood Fire District.

Town Councilman Steven J. Flotteron said the location -- near the home of the Long Island Ducks minor league baseball team at Bethpage Ballpark -- will draw visitors to the museum.

"When they bring their kids to go to the ballgame, maybe they'll stop in the museum," Flotteron said. "Any little boy or girl, they're going to a baseball game, they'll want to see a fire truck probably."

The planned Central Islip facility would join similar museums on Long Island, including the Nassau County Volunteer Firefighter Museum & Education Center in Garden City and the Brookhaven Volunteer Firefighters Museum in Ridge.

"This is a long overdue tribute to the extraordinary sacrifice and heroism of the men and women of our fire services," Supervisor Tom Croci said in a statement. "They risk their lives and some have perished protecting our families and our community. Islip is proud to be the home of this new landmark."


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