The Huntington Town Board has authorized about $2.2 million in bonding to fund capital projects such as the acquisition and installation of computer hardware and software, construction of traffic-calming improvements, and installation of fencing at various locations.
The bonding was approved in nine resolutions offered at last week's town board meeting. The only bond resolution approved unanimously (5-0) was one for improvements to the Gerard Street parking lot, authorizing the issuance of $1,050,000 in bonds, in addition to the $500,000 in bonds already approved for the project.
Town board member Eugene Cook voted against the eight other bond resolutions, saying the expenditures should be anticipated and budgeted. "So what are we doing? Fixing potholes? This should be part of the annual budget," Cook said.
He said Gerard Street has begun and needs to be completed. The other expenditures, which include $65,000 for acquisition and installation of equipment for the document imaging network; $105,000 for acquisition and installation of equipment for the town's Disaster Recovery Center; and $300,000 for construction improvements to various buildings in the town, can be put in the budget.
"We should be managing our money properly so that it's all taken care of," Cook said. "What they're doing here is giving us another fee or another tax that is going on another 15-20 years. I have a problem with that."
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said the town's good financial management and triple A bond rating wouldn't be at that level if the town didn't bond.
"Because our interest rates are so low, bonding actually saves you dollars when you go to the bonding market," Petrone said. "These were all things in the capital budget that Gene didn't vote for."
He added that Cook's suggestion to place the money in the budget would raise taxes. "He should propose that if that's what he believes," Petrone said.