Town Posts LIPA Settlement Documents

The Town of Huntington released documents Tuesday related to the tax settlement with the Long Island Power Authority on the Northport power plant. 

The Town Board approved the settlement on Sept. 3 after nearly a decade of dispute as LIPA sought to reduce the taxes it paid, saying the town had overassessed the plant.

Tuesday’s release followed a heated debate last week  between Town Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Gene Cook about whether  details about the town’s assessment of the plant should be revealed.

Cuthbertson said clearly what had previously mostly been whispered– that the town had overassessed the plant and that residents should be entitled to know what led the board to accept the settlement.

“We couldn’t value the plant anywhere near what it was assessed at,” Cuthbertson said.  “This is why we couldn’t win the lawsuit. We have a binding contract with LIPA to settle this lawsuit. Our residents deserve to know that, they need to know why we made the decision we did.”

Cook insisted the documents shouldn’t be released since other lawsuits are pending and said that anyone who voted to release them should never be elected to public office again. “It is absolutely premature to release this,” Cook said. “This shows a total disrespect for our residents and businesses. It’s shameful.”

Ed Smyth, who had voted for the settlement, said he agreed with Cuthbertson that the plant had been “grossly overassessed” but said that, as a litigator, he preferred to wait and not rush to reveal attorney-client privilege. He voted against the release of the documents. 
 
So, too, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, who noted that he agreed with Cuthbertson and that he and Cook  “had agreed on nothing regarding LIPA” but that he thought the release should wait a little longer.
 
The measure failed, 3-2.
 

The settlement documents are available on the town website.

 

Town Board Votes to Approve LIPA Tax Settlement, 4-1

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.