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Amityville’s finances stronger with bigger payment from company

A $50,000 increase in the amount that healthcare giant Northwell Health pays Amityville Village each year in lieu of taxes on its property in the village will help shore up municipal finances, Mayor James Wandell said this week.

The increase, to $250,000 annually, makes the Northwell property off Louden Avenue one of the largest sources of revenue for the village and is the first increase in 16 years, Wandell said in an interview.

To residents at a village board meeting Monday night, he said the payment would help Amityville’s finances and give the village “ongoing future revenue for years to come.”

The Louden Avenue property has housed healthcare facilities since the 19th century. Northwell now runs South Oaks Hospital and Broadlawn Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center there. The nonprofit chain makes a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, for village services including public works and police and fire protection.

Wandell, Deputy Mayor Jessica Bernius and village attorney Richard Handler negotiated with Northwell executives for months, the mayor said, adding that village officials will not wait another 16 years to renegotiate the fee.

“We’re going to be vigilant in reminding Northwell of our cost increases in a respectful and cooperative fashion,” Wandell said.

The first payment under the new PILOT agreement was received Tuesday, Wandell said. Along with the termination earlier this year of healthcare benefits for some retired village officials — a move Wandell’s administration says will save $100,000 a year — the payment will help close a $1.3 million hole opened in the village budget in 2015 after the unexpected retirement of the police chief, the lieutenant and two police officers.

Village officials are seeking approval from the state to issue a bond to fund the officers’ separation pay. The village would pay an estimated $150,000 in yearly debt service over the 10-year life of the bond.

“This is the second piece of the puzzle,” Wandell said.

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