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Huntington board rejects more than $1M in funding for equipment, upgrades

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci voted in favor

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci voted in favor of each of the resolutions that did not pass. A supermajority of four votes from the five-member town board is required for a resolution to pass. Credit: Danielle Silverman

A handful of bond resolutions for equipment purchases and improvements to Huntington town facilities and buildings have been rejected after the town board failed to secure a needed supermajority.

The bonds that did not pass included:

  • A resolution to buy a $180,000 payloader, which council members Joan Cergol and Mark Cuthbertson voted against
  • $400,000 for the purchase of vehicles, which Cergol and Cuthbertson voted against
  • $150,000 for recreational court improvements, which Cuthbertson and council member Eugene Cook voted against
  • $250,000 for building and facilities improvements, which Cergol, Cuthbertson and Cook voted against
  • $400,000 for highway equipment, which Cook and Cuthbertson voted against

Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and council member Ed Smyth voted in favor of all the failed bond resolutions at the March 5 meeting. Bond resolutions require a supermajority of four votes from the five-member town board to pass.

Cuthbertson said in a phone interview that he voted against these bonds because "I'm concerned about the level of debt service and the costs associated with it." 

“The Town has a crumbling infrastructure and demands on Town resources to continue providing essential services to our community," Lupinacci said in an email statement issued Monday. "Without the funding  to replace decades-old equipment and infrastructure improvements eventually there will be an impact on services residents have come to rely on over the past few decades.”

In a statement, Cergol's spokesman, A.J. Carter, said that Cergol voted against the resolutions because she "wanted to explore other options for acquiring equipment, such as leasing, before committing to bonding. Upon further exploration, including a conversation with the department head in General Services, she has concluded that leasing is not an option and she has said that if the bonding resolution is reintroduced, she will support it."

Cook could not be reached for comment.

The board unanimously passed several other bonds, including $500,000 for improvements to the Flanagan Senior Center; $3.1 million for road improvements; $300,000 for curb, sidewalk and pedestrian ramp improvements; and $150,000 for pavement markings. A bond for $1 million for drainage improvements was passed 4-1, with Cook voting against it. A bond for $200,000 for new traffic signals was passed, with Cuthbertson voting against it.

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