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Supervisor votes against fee waiver approved by Smithtown board

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio (March 19, 2013)

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio (March 19, 2013) (Credit: Brittany Wait)

The Town of Smithtown will temporarily lift fees for some businesses that want to upgrade their facades.

The town board voted, 4-1, last week to waive the fees for six months to spur development in the Smithtown and Kings Park central business districts. Supervisor Patrick Vecchio cast the dissenting vote.

Councilman Robert Creighton, who proposed the measure, said the waiver “would give a jump-start to the economy. People can’t afford the fees.” He said the town would lose $23,000 through the end of the year.

Vecchio said the fee — $125 minimum, plus 15 cents per square foot — “isn’t standing in the way” of someone making a renovation of $5,000 or $10,000, “and the cost will be picked up by all the homeowners of the town.”

Creighton, who is seeking to unseat Vecchio, a fellow Republican, in the fall elections said he was “not surprised that the supervisor voted against it, because he doesn’t want to do anything.”

Kings Park Chamber of Commerce president Anthony Tanzi said the waiver might help some businesses improve their appearance. “I don’t necessarily think there’s going to be a lot of participation in it, but every little bit helps,” he said.

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