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Resolution That Keeps Ecology Center Open Passes In Brookhaven

Town council members approve budget item that combines divisions, leaves money in general fund.

The Town of Brookhaven approved a budget resolution to combine the division of Traffic Safety and the Highway Department, thus clearing the money in the general fund to keep the Holtsville Ecology Center up and running.

The Town Board passed the resolution after a drawn-out evening that began with budget item resolutions, transitioned to a number of zoning approvals, and then doubled back to vote on Resolution 913.

A weary crowd of blue-shirted supporters of the Holtsville Ecology Center applauded after the resolution, which was introduced by Councilwoman Connie Kepert and Councilman Tim Mazzei, passed overwhelmingly.

Former Town Supervisor Mark Lesko proposed closing the center in a preliminary 2013 budget last month, citing savings of $900,000 a year by closing the zoo and greenhouse alone.  

Patch will have more on Tuesday council meeting, including reactions from employees and users of the Holtsville site in the coming hours.

joan senator October 25, 2012 at 08:20 PM
It wasn't just the wildlife sanctuary that was saved, it was the park, the walking/jogging trail, the community pool, etc. The animals are all rescued and cannot be returned to the wild. It seems sometimes that the politicians use these very popular items in the budget to use as bargaining chips against other cuts, such as personnel. So we the public are willing to trade off. and are so grateful to the politicians when their elections come around again. Cynical I know, but that's how most of them operate.
Dawn Balvin October 25, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I also as many commentors have written wouldn't mind paying a nomimal fee to go to the zoo, any ideas to keep it going are helpful right? As far as the pool goes, hasn't there always been a fee? I too, have many fond memories of my daughter and I spending many a wonderful day there, Thank you council members for work well done!
RockyPointDiver October 26, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Bargaining chips? Cynical? Yeah, I'd say. This may be a "popular" item, but if the board has to decide between a walking trail and a bunch of goats (yes, I'm exaggerating) vs. peoples' livelihoods and jobs that help the community at large, which way would you honestly say you expect them to decide?
Frank Nash October 27, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Great news! We non-residents of Brookhaven also appreciate the center and have brought our kids and now grandkids there many times. Where else do we have immediate access to mountain lions, eagles, buffalo, bears, etc...and for free. I always drop a donation in the jar when we visit and now will dig even deeper to continue donating. Thanks for your efforts.
Mary Lamb November 03, 2012 at 11:11 AM
How about the Youth Bureau free counseling program that saves the lives of Brookhaven teens experiencing bullying, cutting, depression, divorce, child and sexual abuse, and drug and alcohol use? Where is the support for this program that has been around for over 20 years and helps hundreds of families per year?

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