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Huntington Town Notebook: Home for a Hero, Outside Counsel for Dix Hills Park, and More

A roundup of town stories.

Help Build a Home for a Hero
Huntington High School graduate Marine Corps Platoon Leader Lieutenant James Byler, 25, who lost both legs and both pinky fingers after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan late last year, will be the first local veteran assisted by the Buillding Homes for Huntington Heroes committee, Councilman Mark Mayoka said last week.

The not-for-profit organization raises funds to build homes that can accommodate  wounded and disabled veterans new conditions.

Byler, whose mother is a teacher at , was injured when he stepped on an improvised explosive device buried in the dirt while leading his platoon on a dismounted patrol of a narrow alley in Northern Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He remained conscious until he was anesthetized him in the Medevac chopper. He has been awarded a Purple Heart.

He received spend Christmas with his family. 

Building Homes for Heroes is a not-for-profit that give community members an opportunity to help severely wounded and disabled veterans and their families rebuild their lives.

To donate to Byler’s house fund, go here.

Crab Meadow Watershed Study
The town will seek a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Long Island Sound Futures Study, to contract a hydrology study and stewardship plan for the 680-acre Crab Meadow Watershed.

With the study, the town hopes to identify all flows and tidal, fresh and storm water inputs to the system, determine the efficiency of artificial impoundments, weir structures and conduits and identify an implementation program to enhance water quality, the consistency of flows, habitat restoration and stewardship.

Outside Counsel Hired for Dix Hills Ice Park Issues
The town unanimously approved a resolution that would allow it to hire outside counsel for issues relating to the construction and renovation of the Dix Hills Ice Rink.

According to the resolution, Town Attorney  John Leo “has deemed it necessary to take legal action in connection with the construction and/or renovation” of the rink. Further, “due to the complexity of issues presented, it has become necessary to seek the expertise of a law form specializing in construction matters."

Leo was authorized to retain the legal services of Harris Beach, PLLC, of Uniondale at an hourly rate of $200.

Online Petition for LIPA Board Represenation
Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson has set up an online petition calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint a Town of Huntington resident to a vacancy on the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees. Currently, only four out of 14 members on LIPA's board are from Suffolk County.

The Town is currently engaged in a monumental tax certiorari lawsuit with National Grid, which is challenging the assessed value of the Northport Power Plant. In filing the lawsuit, LIPA contends that the Northport power plant is grossly over-assessed and seeks the Courts assistance in reducing its assessment – therefore drastically cutting its tax bill.

Residents can view and sign the petition here.

Town Says NYS Used Faulty Data in STAR Determinations
The Huntington Town Board approved a resolution to formally ask the state legislature to revise a process that could see up to 5,000 town homeowners lose their BASIC STAR property tax relief because the State has been unable to determine the homeowners income.

In a unanimous sense resolution, the Town Board said the State Department of Taxation and Finance used unreliable data, incomplete records and a faulty computerized process to question whether the 5,000 property owners should lose their BASIC STAR benefit, either because their incomes are greater than the $500,000 cap or because their income could not be determined. The Town Board said it believes the process could have produced erroneous conclusions and substantial errors.

Zone Change for Columbia Street Properties
The board scheduled an April 12 public hearing on a proposed zone change that will allow construction of 16 units of affordable housing on Columbia Street as part of the Take Back the Blocks program.

“This public hearing regarding a zone change is a necessary step at bringing 16 proposed units of affordable housing to fruition on Columbia Street,” Councilwoman Glenda Jackson.

Vivienne Wong May 11, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Huntington presently has no Director of Maritime Services, No Director of Public Safety and No Director of Engineering. The first two retired last year. The Director of Engineering, Pat Del Col, became the Deputy Supervisor when Laurie Nolan, Esq. retired as Deputy Supervisor. Ms. Nolan after her retirement was “hired” back as consultant for LIPA. The Town of Huntington has no leadership. Many of the present Council people have been too long on this Board. I have looked at the voting record of Susan Berland and Glenda Jackson all they have ever done is vote “yea’ to whatever the two Democrat men propose. I see by this article that another attorney has been hired to oversee the Dix Hills Ice Skating Rink construction! It is possible that if we had a Director of Engineering there would be no need for hiring this law firm. How many attorneys has the Huntington Board contracted with? What are the costs and is there a real need for all these attorneys? The New York Times March 12, 2006 published article “Huntington elected leaders, many of them lawyers, spend a lot of tax money on legal costs -- and, as it happens, also receive a lot of campaign contributions from lawyers.” In closing, Huntington has 68 miles of waterfront and no Harbor Master. I have real fears that a death or other catastrophe will happen this summer on our waterfront.

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