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Long IslandSuffolk

Smithtown loans highway department $400G for salt, sand

Smithtown Town Hall in an undated photo.

Smithtown Town Hall in an undated photo. Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

Smithtown Town Board members voted unanimously to authorize the town comptroller to loan cash from the town's general fund to the highway department's snow fund so the department can purchase salt and sand.

The board voted 5-0 at its Aug. 11 meeting to loan about $400,000 to highway's snow fund in order for the department to purchase about 6,000 tons of salt and sand.

Given this year's treacherous snowstorms, the highway department expended its snow budget, Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said.

"The highway department doesn't have any money to buy sand and salt next year," he said, adding that the department typically purchases such supplies. "The general fund will lend $400,000 to the highway snow fund and the money will be paid back to the general fund in next year's budget."

Smithtown Highway Superintendent Glenn Jorgensen didn't immediately return a call for comment.

Vecchio said the board opted to purchase the sand and salt at the end of summer, because doing so saved money.

Town Comptroller Donald Musgnug said that prices for sand and salt increase Sept. 1. The town is going to save about $66,000 by purchasing the supplies now, he said.

"Beyond the cost-savings, we're also better prepared for the winter and avoiding potential delays in delivery because of the weather or shortages of material," Musgnug said. "Sand and salt do not deteriorate.

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