With recovery costs from Hurricane Sandy further stretching Islip’s already tight budget, Town officials said the pool at Casamento Park in West Islip will not open this summer.
At this week’s Town Board meeting, a number of residents said they realized pool facilities at Casamento — along with those at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood — would be closed only after noticing they had been eliminated from the approved 2013 Town budget.
“If there was an issue when we were doing the budget, it should have been brought up,” said Gerry Pallotta, a West Islip resident who was also representing Town of Islip Democrats. “You should have gotten input from the community and brought awareness (to the issue).”
A petition signed by 370 residents to keep open the pools at Casamento Park and Robert Clemente Park open was presented to the Town Board.
But Town officials noted the decision to close the two pools is a matter of economics.
Town Supervisor Tom Croci said that funds in Islip’s budget earmarked for repairing the pools at both parks had to be redirected to pay for damages related to Hurricane Sandy.
“It’s the pool facilities that will not be operable until they are either repaired or restored,” said Croci.
Councilman Steve Flotteron added, “We have no money to operate anything right now because the little bit we had to do certain repairs is going toward band-aids on other things right now.”
Pallotta, as a member of the Park Committee under previous Town Supervisor Phil Nolan, said a full analysis of the Town’s park facilities was done creating a “laundry list” of what repairs needed to be made. The intent was to share the results with residents at a public forum, who could then vote on what park repairs or actions should be taken via referendum, he said.
Croci asked if a copy of that analysis could be shared with the Town Board.
“The board will consider any option that gets those two facilities open as quickly as possible,” the supervisor said.
Despite the two pool closures, Town officials said residents may still use pool facilities at Byron Lake in Oakdale, Hidden Pond Park in Hauppauge and Shipwreck Cove Spray Park in Bay Shore.