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Huntington town board approves $13M in bonding for LIRR station, roads, equipment

The Huntington town board approved $13 million in

The Huntington town board approved $13 million in bonding for such things as improvements at the Huntington LIRR station and roadways. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Huntington town board approved $13,140,000 in bonding for such things as improvements at the Huntington LIRR station and roadways, and purchasing highway equipment. The Dix Hills Water District also is set to receive funding.

Bonding is a good tool to use for long-term planning, Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said, and helps to keep reserves healthy.

"Long range goals and infrastructure updates are accomplished through bonding," he said.

Among the projects approved were $1,675,000 for improvements to the LIRR north parking garage and west pedestrian bridge, which connects the north and south parking garages, in Huntington Station.

The town’s Department of Engineering Services anticipates starting the project in September and for the work to take about four months.

The work includes concrete repairs, stair tread nosing replacement, and waterproofing. The parking garage project will not result in additional parking spaces, town officials said.

Lupinacci said the issues needed to be addressed to ensure the structural safety and useful life of both structures, "especially as we come over the COVID crisis and the Long Island Rail Road and the train station is used more frequently," he said.

The largest bond approved at the Feb. 23 town board meeting was for $4.5 million for improvements to various town roads.

The highway department was approved for a $1 million bond for equipment.

Two notable bond requests that failed include $350,000 for demolition and asbestos removal of a former Chase bank building at the northwest corner of Gerard Street and New York Avenue. The town bought the parcel in 2019 with plans to use it for a parking lot. The plan was to demolish the building in 2020, reconstruct the lot and combine it with the adjacent existing municipal parking lot immediately to the north.

Town Board member Joan Cergol said she voted against the measure for priority concerns.

"With a dozen or so bonding resolutions before us totaling into the many millions of dollars that one simply did not rise to the same level of urgency as did the others," she said.

Town Board member Gene Cook did not respond to request for comment regarding his no vote on this resolution.

Also failing was a request for $1.5 million for improvements at the Woodbine Marina in Northport. The marina has been closed since late 2019. In 2020 Huntington Town officials filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million in damages from the contractors who designed and reconstructed the marina. The lawsuit said the work was so shoddy that it created dangerous, unsafe and hazardous conditions, and had cost the town money.

Cergol and board colleague Mark Cuthbertson voted against the resolution.

The Dix Hills Water District was approved for a $3 million bond that will be charged to customers of the district.

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