Huntington Set To Gain $3 Million in LIPA Settlement

Huntington Set To Gain $3 Million in LIPA Settlement

Photo by Lina Weingarten

Last week, the Town of Huntington announced the Long Island Power Authority agreed to provide an additional $3 million
to the town if a settlement were to go through. The money is in addition to the proposed settlement for the Northport Power Station tax certiorari case, according to a town press release.

After an Aug. 10 town public forum held at Heckscher Park, LIPA agreed to extend the deadline for the town to accept the latest settlement proposal on the Northport Power Station tax certiorari litigation to Thursday, Sept. 3, when the town will hold a public hearing via Zoom on the issue.

After the hearing, the board will vote on the settlement. According to town and LIPA officials, the additional $3 million is to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Huntington residents.

“We recognize the challenge of the pandemic on the town’s finances and have accommodated their request for additional assistance in the first three years of the settlement,” LIPA officials said in an email statement. “The Northport-East Northport school board voted overwhelmingly to settle this long-standing litigation, and we believe we have made a fair offer for the town to move forward.”

Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R) said in the release that the $3 million in additional payments will be made by LIPA to the town of $1 million per year in 2021 through 2023.

“While we were fortunate to be in a strong financial position when COVID-19 hit, the long-term impacts of this unprecedented economic crisis on our local economy and future government operations are not fully known,” the supervisor said.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) said he would continue to analyze the settlement “but any money that will go to the taxpayers is certainly a welcome development.”

Councilwoman Joan Cergol (D) said the money will soften any financial impacts of COVID-19 “and is certainly worthy of consideration in helping to protect and preserve vital town services and programs that our residents depend on and deserve, especially during these, and continuing difficult times.”

The proposed deal would reduce LIPA’s annual tax bill on the Northport power plant from $86 million to $46 million by 2027.

The public hearing will start at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3. Public comment may be submitted ahead of the forum at huntingtonny.gov/lipa-forum. The forum will livestream on Optimum 18, FIOS 38 and at huntingtonny.gov/featured-programs, where residents may sign up to speak during the forum.

The Town Board’s vote on the LIPA proposal will take place immediately after the public forum ends, and in addition to being livestreamed on Optimum and FIOS, it can be viewed at huntingtonny.gov/meetings.

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