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Town Council Approves Blight Legislation

Also: MacArthur Airport receives official FAA designation as a New York airport.

As Islip Town works to fight the growing issue of blight, the town council recently approved a new local law officials said gives them more ammunition to battle this problem.

The main component of the “Community Preservation and Anti-Blight Enforcement Local Law” is a scorecard that has a list of criteria that includes if the property is attracting illegal activity, is a fire hazard or if is in significant disrepair to determine if a parcel can be rated as blighted. A property will be listed as blighted if its meets or exceeds a point value of 100.

Islip will also develop a Blighted Property Inventory List that carries a registration fee of $2,500 for residential properties and $5,000 for commercial properties and an incentives program designed to encourage developers to buy and redevelop blighted properties.

As part of the effort to persuade developers to redevelop neglected properties, the town is offering reduced permit fees by as much as 50 percent and expedited processing of permits.

Airport Receives Official Designation

Long Island MacArthur Airport has received official designation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it is now a New York airport. For decades, the airport has been listed in the FAA’s quarterly directory of airport facilities as an airport serving Islip Town.

The agency’s 2011 quarterly directory now puts Islip MacArthur in the same category as John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. In June 2010, Islip Town Supervisor Phil Nolan wrote a letter to the FAA requesting the change, arguing that the airport is a regional transportation hub whose catchment area extends well beyond the bounds of Islip Town.

“This is a big breakthrough” said Teresa Rizzuto, airport commissioner. “It opens up great opportunities to attract more customers looking to fly into the New York area, and in turn, attract new airlines.” 

New Exhibits At Islip Art Museum

The Islip Art Museum will feature a series of new exhibits that will coincide with Women’s and Black History Months.

In honor of Black History Month the museum’s exhibit Photo Finish will feature art from contemporary African American photographers, curated by Ariel Shanberg, Director of The Center for Photography at Woodstock. This exhibit will begin on February 9 and will run until March 27.

Nationally known photographer Vicki Ragan will be showing recent work along with pieces from the Islip Art Museum’s Collections in the Permanent Collection Gallery. This exhibition, which is curated by Janet Goleas, will run from February 9 through March 27.

The Historical Society of Islip Hamlet is opening an exhibition Through the Eyes of His Lens: The Photographs of Edgar Van Sicklen 1900-1915 in the Town of Islip Historical Exhibition Gallery, from February 9 through April 29.

To celebrate Women’s History Month the museum is presenting a preview of the exhibition Neither Saints nor Sinners: Photographs from the Herstory Writers Workshop by Vanessa Green.  This exhibit will begin on March 1 and run through March 27.

Pre-school Registration Now Open

Islip Town officials announced that pre-school registration, for September classes for three and four-year-olds, is now open. The Town of Islip offers classes of two days per week at $75 for three-year-olds and three days per week at $95 for four-year-olds. Fee paid monthly. Recreation card required; non-resident fees higher.  More information call 224-5405.

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