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Huntington board OKs $7.3M in bonds for improvement projects

Young figure skaters wait for the ice to

Young figure skaters wait for the ice to be cleaned before taking part in festivities as part of he dedication and grand opening of the Town of Huntington's new Dix Hills Skating Rink on Thursday night, Dec. 16, 2010. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Huntington Town Board approved $7.305 million in bonds for projects such as paving, sewer and water district improvements, fencing and a roof for an ice-skating rink.

Board member Gene Cook, as he has in the past, voted against all but one bonding request, a $2.4 million bond for paving roads. He said instead of borrowing for projects, money should be put into the budget to fund them.

“We need to be very cautious with our money,” Cook said.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said some projects take more time and require more money than others, so bonding helps with long term planning and helps to keep reserves healthy.

“There are certain things you can budget for but certain times there are large capital projects that will take longer times and need more money,” Lupinacci said. “Because we are capped at what we can bring in, in terms of revenue, through the New York State tax cap . . . we have to look for alternative sources of revenue in order for the town to move forward.”

Some of the larger projects include $1.55 million to make improvements for the Dix Hills Water District, $1 million to make improvements for the Greenlawn Water District and $560,000 for the Huntington Sewer District.

Requests for $750,000 for drainage equipment, $175,000 to replace the roof of the original ice skating rink in Dix Hills, and $130,000 for tanks and sumps at the rink were also approved, as were $100,000 for fencing at several locations around the town and $75,000 for improving parking lots.

A $13.5 million bond for the James D. Conte Community Center in Huntington Station — a former armory that is to include a full-size indoor basketball court and meeting rooms — was withdrawn at the last minute by Lupinacci.

Last year a $1.3 million bond request was approved for the center with an expectation that $8.5 million would be bonded over several years. Lupinacci said other board members had questions about the new higher number.

“Last year some things were added to the center so that’s why the bonding request went up,” Lupinacci said. “Some members of the town board want to look at the old plans compared to the new plans and that’s what they are reviewing at this point.”

He said the Conte Center bond request is expected to be proposed at the next town board meeting.

Bond requests failed for $130,000 for a tractor to maintain sidewalks and $700,000 for acquisition of vehicles and equipment for the General Services Department.

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