The Huntington Town Board passed a resolution at its meeting Tuesday to apply to the state to take over the state armory in Huntington Station. The unanimous vote allows the town to further the process of assuming control of the decommissioned armory, which sits on 3.6 acres on East Fifth Street. Democratic Supervisor Frank Petrone said the town doesn’t have specific plans for the building, but it likely would be used as a community facility.
Heather Groll, spokeswoman for the state Office of General Services, called the transition a “win-win” for the town and the state.
“The state no longer maintains the cost of taking care of the building and the grounds, and the town gets a building for its use, so it’s good for all involved,” Groll said.
Groll said the conveyance must be approved by the State Legislature; there are bills pending sponsored by Assembs. Andrew Raia (R-East Northport) and James Conte (R-Huntington Station), and by state Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset).
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, a proposal to refinance $24 million in older town bonds at a lower interest rate failed when council members Mark Mayoka and Eugene Cook abstained from voting after attempting to pull the motion. Mayoka, a Republican, told the board that he and Cook — who ran for office and was elected with Republican, Conservative and Independence backing — didn’t have enough time to study the matter after receiving the information late Friday, and he questioned whether the town had a strategic bond financing plan in place.
The remaining council members, all Democrats, noted that neither Mayoka nor Cook had questioned the refinancing plan at the board’s workshop before the meeting. Petrone called the move “disingenuous” and “unprofessional,” angrily saying, “Shame on you!”
Under the refinancing plan, the town would save about $700,000 over the remaining life of the bonds, with an increase of $100,000 in the town’s 2013 operating budget, said Andrew Persich, the town’s interim comptroller. Because the resolution failed, the numbers are subject to change with fluctuations in the market, Petrone said.
The matter is scheduled to be taken up at the board’s next meeting on May 22.