I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy belated New Year. The year 2020 was a challenge for all of us in the Village of Islandia and across our country. I expect 2021 to be challenging also. With the pandemic still upon us, we must be careful how we live our lives during this crisis. Please wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep your distance (six feet) and wear a mask. The Village continues to work with our insurance company to purchase masks at a reduced cost. These savings have been passed on to our residents with our free mask distributions held at the Village Hall. See the enclosed flier for our next distribution event.
On other matters, I am pleased to report that the Village Board passed a budget for the tax year of 2021 without any increase in taxes for our residents. The Village will also eliminate the garbage fee for the eleventh year in a row. This means residents have saved an average of $500 per year, compared to what they would expect to pay if they lived outside the Village for their garbage to be picked up. This, combined with the 50% tax cuts in 2017 and 2018 still in place, saves residents over $1,000 per year on average, based on the assessed value of their home. Together, we have demonstrated that local village governments can lower the tax burden on residents while, at the same time, improving quality of life.
Our new park has been one of the focal points with respect to improving the quality of life in our Village. The First Responders Recreational Ball Field is a true state-of-the-art complex featuring ball fields for youth and community baseball and softball games, a concession stand, restrooms, a playground, and an exercise path with ten different exercise stations. I look forward to once again hosting our Village events on the grounds, such as our Easter Egg Hunt, Pumpkin Fest and Annual Village Bar-B-Que, which was attended by 950 residents in 2019.
On other matters, for the safety and convenience of our pedestrians, we are constructing new sidewalks along Old Nichols Road for those who walk to Village Hall to attend our Village Board meetings or our Village events, especially those who have little children with them; it can be extremely dangerous, especially at night. As a result, we have undertaken this project with the safety of pedestrians — and children — in mind. Our plan this year is to continue to repair and replace sidewalks where needed. The Force Main Project is coming to an end in our Village. The final new roadwork is mostly complete. We still have new signage and lighting to install.
Despite the closure due to COVID-19, and in accordance with our agreement, the Village recently received its 2021 payment in the amount of $2,250,000.00 from Jake’s 58 that Delaware North and OTB agreed to pay as part of its Taxpayer Relief Agreement with the Village of Islandia. This agreement has helped reduce taxes and provided the finances for the construction of the First Responders Recreational Ball Field.
Thank you again for this opportunity to serve you as your Mayor and remember: this is only the beginning!
Allan M. Dorman