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Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio indicates land bank support
Tossing aside his earlier skepticism, Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio Thursday said he would ask the town board to support Suffolk County’s plan to create a land bank for blighted, tax-delinquent properties.
Earlier this month, Vecchio had expressed concern that Smithtown would lose about $80,000 annually in compensation from the county if two contaminated sites in Kings Park joined the land bank.
But after hearing a presentation by county officials, Vecchio said he would schedule a vote to back the land bank at a town board meeting Thursday night.
The town board approved, 4-0, a resolution indicating it supports the bank. Councilman Thomas McCarthy did not attend the meeting.
The county is seeking approval from the Empire State Development Corporation, a state agency, for a nonprofit land bank that would take title to as many as 124 parcels that collectively owe more than $28 million in county, municipal and school district taxes.
Backers say the bank would return the parcels to the tax rolls by selling them to new owners.
County officials are facing a Jan. 30 deadline to submit the application to the ESDC.
The towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Huntington, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold have said they support the bank.