For the South Huntington-Huntington Station Civic Association, bringing together residents and elected officials is an important step to a thriving community.
The organization recently hosted a community meeting at the South Huntington Public Library to discuss the state of the town. The meeting attracted a large crowd of Huntington residents who were eager to engage with elected officials on ways to improve their community.
“This is what it’s all about,” said Sam Bifulco, president of the SHHS Civic Association, “engaging in your community and trying to work together to make a positive difference.”
Superintendent of Highways Kevin S. Orelli and Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci addressed the crowd.
Some in the crowd expressed concerns about the state of town roads and a need for paving. Orelli said the issue came down to yearly budget constraints, which meant prioritizing repairs.
“There’s lots of roads in the Town of Huntington that need to be repaired,” Orelli said. “We have a budget of about $4.5 million this year for paving. We calculated that we would need about $13.5 million to pave all the roads. So, we have to be very selective in roads that we choose to pave and the roads that do not get paved.”
Lupinacci was asked about a lack of parking spaces in the Huntington village.
“We’re looking at a parking infrastructure,” Lupinacci said. “We’re looking at building a parking structure that can accommodate about 300 parking spaces. We already have a $1.75 million grant from the state, which we’re putting toward” the parking structure.
In the meantime, residents who find it difficult to seek out a parking space can utilize Qwikride, a shuttle service that patrons can enjoy for a free ride throughout the village.
“It’s a free shuttle service down in Huntington village,” said Lupinacci, “so if you need to park offsite, then [Qwikrides] will shuttle you right through the village to get you to any location you need to be at.”
Last but not least on the agenda was a discussion of the Long Island Power Authority lawsuit. In 2010, LIPA filed a tax certiori lawsuit seeking a 90 percent reduction in the assessed value of the Northport power plant, which, if successful, will result in a lowered assessment on the plant and higher tax rates for Huntington residents.
“Right now, the Town of Huntington, along with Northport-East Northport School District, have agreed to enter into mediation.” Said Lupinacci. “So, we sit down with a mediator, everyone vents on all the sides, and the mediator tries to compromise and bring everyone on the same page. The mediator only suggests a compromise, but both sides have to accept it.”