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Huntington Town board narrowly approves 2014 budgets

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone posing for a

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone posing for a portrait inside the clubhouse of Hamlet Golf and Country Club. (June 26, 2013) Credit: James Escher

The Town of Huntington has approved its spending plan for next year by adopting operating and capital budgets for 2014.

The adopted $185.2 million 2014 operating budget calls for a net zero increase across the town’s 14 taxing funds. But there will be hikes in two of the top three funds. The general fund will see an increase of 3.6 percent, and there will be a 1.7 percent rise for the Consolidated Refuse Fund.

The Highway Fund will see a decrease of 4.65 percent. The budget calls for no reduction in services or layoffs; and raises will go only to those under a collective bargaining unit contract.

Spending is up 2.2 percent, but the amount to be raised by taxes stays at the same level as last year — $109,686,705.

“We spent a lot time putting this budget together; we got a lot of input and obviously the board thought it was fine and thought it was the proper budget for this next fiscal year,” said Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, also the town’s chief financial officer. “The two people who voted against it did not offer any amendments so I don’t know where their concerns are.”

Both budgets were adopted 3 to 2 with Mark Cuthbertson and Susan Berland voting yes and Mark Mayoka and Gene Cook opposing the plans.

Cook cited discrepancies in the costs allotted for outside attorney fees and to settle various lawsuits against the town.

“I just didn’t believe the numbers and I couldn’t vote for something I didn’t believe in,” Cook said.

The $8.8 million capital budget was also approved 3 to 2. The capital budget includes building a boathouse at Centerport Beach, $350,000 is earmarked for that expenditure.

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