The Mastic Beach Village Board of Trustees this week unanimously adopted a $1 million bond resolution to purchase Mastic Beach Nutrition Center as the new village hall, but the surprising decision came with its share of controversy.
Some village residents took aim at Mayor Bill Biondi for not informing the public about possibly using taxpayer money to buy a municipal building.
"It was not brought before the public or vetted. And we're paying for it," said resident Maura Sperry, 53.
After Tuesday night's meeting, Biondi acknowledged most residents didn't know about the potential deal because he feared someone would buy the center.
The deal was discussed during work session meetings, but two other buildings the board recently targeted as possible village hall sites were purchased shortly after that information became public, the mayor said.
"We're doing everything we can to make this a great place," Biondi said.
Brookhaven Town has agreed to sell the 32,000-square-foot building, at 369 Neighborhood Rd., to the village. It will cost roughly $570,000, and $430,000 in renovations are planned, village officials said at the meeting.
The length of the bond is 15 years and the average village homeowner's annual tax bill is expected to rise between $17 and $20, village officials said. Interest from the bond is expected to be $90,000 per year, or 4 percent.
"It will be a solid building in the middle of the village," said resident Kevin Barrett, 52, who favored the bond resolution. Mastic Beach rents the village fire department building for its board meetings.
Biondi said the move will save money, add space and solve the parking woes at village hall. "We have to run good government."