$13.4M bond for Babylon park upgrades, road fixes and more

The city of Babylon pledges more than $13.4 million to fund park improvements, road reconstruction and equipment purchases.

is a drop in this year’s annual borrowing from the city’s $15.8 million approved for bonding in 2021. City officials said the money is needed for dozens of upgrades.

“It’s to maintain our infrastructure while keeping to our policy of getting out of more debt than we incur,” said assistant comptroller Tony Martinez.

This policy was amended in 2020 to allow debt beyond what is paid in “extenuating circumstances”. The city can exceed the amount of debt paid by the lesser of the amounts, which is $2.5 million, or 15% of the debt at retirement. If there is a state of emergency in the city, the amount of debt incurred will be left to the discretion of the city board.

The change was made after a study several years ago found the city would need to nearly double its annual road repaving and reconstruction spending to meet all the work needed over the next decade. The biggest share of this year’s loan is $6.6 million for road reconstruction. The city is finalizing which routes it will operate this year, based on that study.

The next largest bond amounts are $1.3 million for construction machinery and equipment, and $1.1 million for improvements to the Venetian Shores park in Lindenhurst. These renovations include replacing the infields at two ballfields with artificial turf and putting in new equipment in the spray park.

An additional $250,000 in bonding toward a new UV water filtration system will go into the park to spray per state and county health department requirements, Martinez said.

“The park has come to the end of its life,” he said of the facility, which was built in 2005. “We put it together with tape and glue. »

Martinez said the artificial turf will clear faster and allow more games to be played on the fields.

“One of the biggest problems that the city deals with is space and planning issues,” he said.

The bond also includes $1 million for sand replenishment on the beaches, and $600,000 for work on the North Babylon town hall annex. The ongoing renovation of the annex took a back seat this year to work needed at Town Hall Lindenhurst after that date pipes in the 1950s in the latter building were found inside the decaying walls, Martinez said .

The city is also borrowing $500,000 to purchase property for the Wyandanch Rising revitalization. There are three private homes on Grand Boulevard that the city is trying to buy so it can redevelop the properties, and that money would go towards buying one of the homes, Martinez said.

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