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Mastic Beach auctions village hall, vehicles before village dissolves

Mastic Village Hall on Neighborhood Road on Sunday,

Mastic Village Hall on Neighborhood Road on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. The building and other village assets are being auctioned to pay off debt before the village disbands. Credit: John Roca

With a little luck — and a few thousand dollars — you could be the next owner of Mastic Beach Village Hall.

The soon to be defunct South Shore village is selling the building on Neighborhood Road as well as cars, office cubicles and other items in an online auction that ends next week.

Mastic Beach officials hope to raise enough money from the auction to pay off about $700,000 to $800,000 in debt before village hall closes its doors on Dec. 31 and the community reverts to Brookhaven Town control. The auction is one of several steps taken by Mastic Beach officials to close the books on the village, which formed in 2010. Residents voted last year to disband amid controversy over village finances and other problems.

Mayor Robert Miller said the auction so far has raised about $200,000.

Any remaining debt after the village closes would be paid by Mastic Beach residents, who would be assessed a special tax by Brookhaven Town. Miller said that tax could be imposed next year or in 2019.

The exact amount of remaining debt — and the tax that would be imposed on residents — depends on the success of the auction, Miller said.

“My plan is to leave no debt to the people,” he said in an interview. “People were not happy when they found out they would have to pay that debt to the Town of Brookhaven. There’s no reason for it when we’ve worked so hard” to eliminate debt.

The village also is auctioning its Department of Public Works building and office supplies. An auction of trucks and public safety vehicles closed Monday. Other auctions close next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, said Jim Giovanniello, Long Island sales representative for upstate East Aurora-based Auctions International, which is running the auction for the village.

Buyers may go on the company’s website, auctionsinternational.com, to bid on file cabinets, front-end loaders, an asphalt grinder and village hall’s public address system.

“Everything’s going, right down to the last paper clip,” Giovanniello said.

Miller said village officials also are trying to settle remaining lawsuits before the end of the year. He said those settlements will be paid by the village’s insurance.

On Monday, the top bid for village hall was $75,200 — far less than the $850,000 bond that Mastic Beach officials used to buy it from Brookhaven Town about five years ago. Miller said he was optimistic the building would be sold.

“Our ultimate goal is to pay the debt off,” Miller said. “If we can raise enough money to pay that bond off, we hit a home run.”

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