The Huntington Town Board has approved more than $6 million in bonds for capital projects such as improving roads and parking lots, and buying new traffic signals and highway equipment.
The money for the bonds had been earmarked in the capital budget approved in November. But because the projects will be paid for through bonding and not tax revenue, the law requires a resolution to issue the bonds, town officials said.
"Our triple-A bond rating gives us an incredible interest rate," said town board member Susan Berland. "You want to utilize bonding to pay for these heavy ticket items."
The bond resolutions had to be approved by a supermajority vote of 4-1 according to state law, town officials said.
The bonds include $500,000 for improvements to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system at Town Hall; $350,000 for improvements to various town buildings and facilities including waterproofing on the east side of Town Hall; $200,000 to purchase and install traffic signals; $500,000 for improvements to the Gerard Street parking lot; $200,000 for improvements to various town parking lots at Crab Meadow Golf Course and Dix Hills Park; $500,000 for the acquisition of highway equipment; $500,000 for various drainage improvements; and $3.6 million for improvements to various roads.
A $200,000 bond request to buy vehicles for the general services department was defeated 3-2, with town board members Mark Mayoka and Gene Cook voting against it.
Mayoka said he did not receive an inventory of general services department vehicles and what the needs were, and that he requested the information from the town interim comptroller, but did receive such lists from the highway department.
"I couldn't vote in favor of a bonding resolution [for which] I didn't have sufficient backup detail," Mayoka said.
Cook said he reluctantly voted for the other bonds, but only because they were for infrastructure.
"When we are bonding things at 10, 20 years, for vehicles with a life span of 5 to 7 [years]," he said, "I absolutely will not bond for it."
Town board member Mark Cuthbertson said the town must stay on top of replacing vehicles because they last only so long.
"They singled out $200,000 of bonding in $6 million of overall capital spending," he said. "It doesn't make any sense."