Councilwoman Joan Cergol announced the agreement for the delay at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting. The vote will follow a second public forum on the same day.
The board approved the resolution, sponsored by Cergol and Mark Cuthbertson, to set the date. The vote was 4-1 with Councilman Gene Cook voting no.
After Cook said he preferred the earlier schedule of a vote at the end of September, Cergol said that another public hearing would r be of value if the proposed settlement had been withdrawn.
The second public forum had been scheduled for Sept. 16, followed by a board vote on Sept. 29. But Tuesday was the deadline originally demanded by LIPA, risking, many felt, the chance that LIPA would withdraw the settlement proposal.
Looming in the background is a pending determination by a judge that many fear could have meant that residents could have been on the hook for more than $800 million if the court case went in LIPA’s favor. The first public forum was held Monday night.
LIPA brought the challenge nearly 10 years ago to the town’s assessment on the plant, saying the plant was worth far less than the town said.
In July, the Northport Board of Education voted 6-1 to accept the settlement to end the long-running case.
The settlement is expected to bring tax increases throughout the town, but especially for residents in the Northport school district.
A LIPA spokeswoman said, “The vote by the Huntington Town Board to provide for the second public forum and a vote on the Northport Power Station settlement agreement on September 3 is a good faith effort to hear from the community and consider the merits of the proposal. LIPA has agreed to extend the terms of our offer through the Board’s September 3 meeting. “