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Town Refinances $24M of Bonds [VIDEO]

Saving projections differ among Town Board members.

With differing opinions on savings projections, the Huntington Town Board approved this week the refinancing up to $24 million of town bonds.

Approved unanimously at a May 22 meeting for more review time, the resolution allows the refinancing of bonds issued from 2002 to 2005 to achieve a lower interest rate, according to a town press release.

The refinancing was recommended by Huntington's fiscal advisor, New York Municipal Advisors Corporation. Refinancing would save taxpayers an estimated $100,000 a year for the remainder of the life of the bonds, or more than $700,000 overall, according to NYMAC with terms remaining unchanged.

Democratic members of the Town Board balked at the delay in voting recommended by Town Board members Eugene Cook and Mark Mayoka at a meeting two weeks ago at Town Hall. 

The 100-page resolution included intricate calculations without any assumptions, according to Mayoka.

"It appeared that professional fees were too high and that the proposed 2005 refunding segment of $7 million would only save the town $17,000 yet cost $65,000 in professional fees," said Mayoka in a release. "Since I did not receive an acceptable explanation for these discrepancies and I had numerous other unanswered questions I could not vote in favor of the resolution." 

After further review, Cook and Mayoka approved the proposal Tuesday.

"The fact of the matter is it gave us time to read it over and if nothing else we got to know what it is all about," said Cook.

Mayoka said the extra review time and a reworking of the resolution netted positive results and $300,000 in savings. The cost of issuance, underwriters discount, market conditions as well as bonding options were all re-evaluated, according to Mayoka. 

"Instead of saving $700,000 we will now save over $1 million," said Mayoka at the meeting Tuesday.

Other Town Board members disagreed with Mayoka.

"The truth is, nothing has changed," said Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.

Siding with Cuthbertson, Councilwoman Susan Berland said the underlying resloution was not changed from two weeks ago.

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