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Huntington looking into repaving mix-up

Town of Huntington officials are looking into ways to improve street excavation coordination after an East Northport road was paved and within weeks was to be excavated for a gas line installation.

Repaving on Oakland Avenue was completed on Oct. 24 and a few days later residents learned National Grid was planning to tear up the street to install a gas line to feed the Northport VA Medical Center. Residents concerned about safety and waste of taxpayer money demanded answers from town officials.

"We looked into it, looking at what went wrong here from a townwide perspective," Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said. "The town board does not make the determination when the roads are done, the highway department does."

Petrone said Huntington highway Superintendent William Naughton, an independently elected town official, met with Deputy Town Supervisor Pat DelCol yesterday to discuss ways to avoid a repeat of the Oakland Avenue problem.

"In this case something fell through," Petrone said. "We'll be working with the highway department on enhanced protocols."

Permits for the National Grid project were issued yesterday, he said. Naughton could not be reached for comment.

Wendy Ladd, spokeswoman for National Grid, said the company had not yet received the permits and would not schedule the work until they are received.

The Oakland Avenue project includes placing 8-inch pipe in 1-foot-deep by 3-foot-wide trenches about 5 to 6 feet from the curb.

Michael Taub, who has lived on Oakland Avenue for almost five years, said he and his neighbors are frustrated with town and highway department officials' failure to respond to their safety concerns.

"We're caught in the middle," Taub said. "As a taxpayer you expect them to have some sort of response when you go at them with questions. But there has been no communication from the town or Mr. Naughton."

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