Islip, NY – In recent years, the Town of Islip has received numerous complaints from residents about dangerous criminal behavior and an influx of reports from the MTA Police and Suffolk County Police about illegal activities, including drug dealing at Ross Memorial Park in Brentwood. In 2020, in consultation with SCPD, Town Officials decided to close and transform Ross Park into a community park of which all could be proud. 

Today, with the assistance of Grant Funding from Assemblyman Phil Ramos, the reconstruction of Ross Memorial Park is well underway as one of the Town’s Capital projects. Features included in the transformation of Ross Park involve a pavilion for LIVE outdoor theatre performances and LIVE outdoor concerts; space for cultural fairs and celebrations; picnic tables; outdoor checkers; chess; a soft play area for children; a new walkway; parking; restrooms; lighting structures, and a state-of-the-art enhanced security system along with further measures to ensure park safety.

Critical to the success of the transformation of Ross Memorial Park is the relocation of the five Suffolk County bus shelters on Brentwood Rd. Adjacent to Ross Park, for years, it has been a hangout for vagrants and harbored drug use. At the May 16th Town Board meeting, Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter introduced a resolution that the Town Board unanimously passed to enter into a 20-year agreement with Suffolk County to move these bus shelters to a more appropriate location, the south side of the LIRR parking lot.

“Our residents deserve a safe and functional park to enjoy outdoor recreational activities with friends and family, and the old Ross Park simply did not allow that,” said Supervisor Carpenter. “I have made it my mission to ensure all Town-owned facilities are safe for our residents to enjoy. Ross Memorial Park in Brentwood is no exception. We are steadfast in our commitment to reclaim the park as an asset for the community to enjoy once restorations are completed,” she added. 

Assemblyman Phil Ramos secured $655,000 in state funds to further the bipartisan initiative with Supervisor Carpenter to beautify Ross Memorial Park in downtown Brentwood, a “hot spot” for illegal activities.

“For far too long, our community has suffered from a lack of resources due to the inconsistencies in our surroundings. This bipartisan initiative will bring a holistic change to our community,” said Assemblyman Ramos. “Additionally, the pandemic has worsened matters by increasing the number of homeless, unemployment, and lack of food resources. The area has encountered increased drug use and distribution, loitering, and prostitution,” he said. 

“We are taking this park back for our community,” said Supervisor Carpenter. “This will be a showplace for the Brentwood community and the entire Town of Islip.”