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OpinionEditorial

$10M grant is a welcome economic boost for Central Islip

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a news

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference in Central Islip on Aug. 1. Hochul and officials were on hand as they announced the winners to the Central Islip downtown initative. Credit: James Carbone

The plans outlined last week for the remake of Central Islip’s downtown are perhaps just as notable for what you won’t see as for what you will.

The $2 million in funding for sewers might not seem “transformative” but Central Islip’s resurgence can’t happen without it.

The sewer money is just part of what Central Islip will get from the state’s downtown revitalization initiative, a $10 million grant the community won a year ago. Westbury and Hicksville were previous Long Island winners. The other projects that the state chose are important, too, including additional development near the Central Islip train station, and streetscaping to make the area more walkable.

But the project list that the state unveiled last week wasn’t all good news. Residents in Central Islip had desperately wanted an overhaul of the hamlet’s recreation center, and the state didn’t include it. That was disappointing to the community and town leaders, including Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter. Carpenter hopes the state and town can find other funding to make it happen. It’s a plan worth doing.

Meantime, though, Islip officials must not let disappointment get in the way of moving forward on the projects that did make the state’s list. The grant can go a long way toward making the Central Islip business corridor near the train station welcoming and economically vibrant. State and Islip officials have the seed money to start the renewal of Central Islip, now they must work together to find more funding and take the steps to finish the job.

 — The editorial board

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