Town Hall Update: Huntington Town Board Makes Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption Permanent, Dedicates “Scott J. Beigel Way”

At its March 20th meeting, the Huntington Town Board voted to permanently extend the Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption, dedicated Hart Place in Dix Hills as “Scott J. Beigel Way,” and scheduled public hearings on a development project proposed for the property located on the northeast corner of Jericho Turnpike and Manor Road, among other items on the agenda.

Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci opened the meeting with a moment of silence for the U.S. service members who were killed when their military helicopter crash in western Iraq Thursday, March 15th. One of those killed was Master Sergeant Christopher Raguso of Commack, who served in the Commack Fire Department and the FDNY in addition to the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing.
 
The Town Board approved a measure, co-sponsored by Supervisor Lupinacci and Councilman Edmund J.M. Smyth, to permanently lift the 10-year limit on the Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption, a New York State tax break on a qualifying veteran’s primary residence. The State limits the exemption to 10 years in duration unless a taxing jurisdiction acts to make it indefinite.
 
The Town Board voted to rename Hart Place to be known as "Scott J. Beigel Way/Hart Place" in honor of Scott Beigel, the teacher who died while protecting students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., from a gunman on February 14th. The dedication ceremony will take place later in the year at Hart Place when the weather improves. Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci led a memorial service at Town Hall Wednesday, March 14th to honor the hero teacher. The candlelight vigil was attended by Scott's parents and his sister. Scott was a former resident of Huntington: he was raised in Dix Hills, where his parents still live.
 
The Town scheduled simultaneous public hearings for May 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM to consider comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), to consider an amendment to the Horizons 2020 Comprehensive Plan, and to consider zone change application #2013-ZM-397, Syndicated  Ventures (aka Villadom), to change the zoning from R-40 Residence District and C-6 General Business District to C-5 Planned Shopping Center District for a 486,380 square foot shopping center to be developed at the property located on the northeast corner of Jericho Turnpike and Manor Road, Elwood.
 
The Town Board honored Suffolk County Police Officer James Garside for developing and implementing highly visible GPS-enabled trail markers at Cold Spring Harbor State Park, which recently saved the life of a heart attack victim on the trail.
 
“Officer Garside's trail markers helped save that man's life and improved public safety for all the park's visitors and emergency responders,” said Supervisor Lupinacci.
 
Melville Fire Department Third Assistant Chief Jason Bernfeld was honored by the Town Board for saving a man who was trapped in a car just before it burst into flames on Monday, March 12th.
 
The Town also honored the Northport High School Boys Winter Track and Field Team for winning the Suffolk County Championship, issuing additional proclamations for the 4x800-meter NYS Championship Relay Team and Isaiah Claiborne for winning the Boys 1,000-meter run at the NYS Indoor Track and Field Championships.
 
In other action, the Town:
 
·         Scheduled a public hearing for April 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM to consider allowing the Ethics Board to elect a Chairperson from among its members at the first Ethics Board Meeting of each year.
·         Authorized the correction of code violations at nuisance properties across the town.
·         Approved funding for new navigation buoys with proper U.S. Coast guard markings and LED lights as appropriate to replace 20-year-old cracked and faded buoys to improve harbor navigation safety.
·         Greenlighted the Movies on the Lawn Series.
·         Agreed to co-sponsor the LiveOnNY simply fit 5K Run Event at Harborfields High School on April 29, 2018, to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
·         Accepted a $2,500 donation from Covanta Energy Corporation to support the 2018 Huntington Family Earth Day expo on April 21, 2018.
·         Waived charter fees for special events at The Dix Hills Ice Rink on Sunday, March 25th to benefit Whip Pediatric Cancer and on Sunday, April 29th for NY Metro Blind Hockey.
·         Approved the installation of Stop Signs in East Northport at Carrington Drive eastbound at Dartmoor Drive, Dartmoor Drive northbound at Chester Street, and Fairlee Drive eastbound at Carrington Drive.
 
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In the photo (l-r): Suffolk County Police Officer James Garside, Councilman Edmund J.M. Smyth, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Councilman Eugene Cook, Councilwoman Joan Cergol. Street dedication photo from Candlelight Vigil March 14, 2018 (l-r): Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Linda Beigel Schulman (Scott’s mother), Melissa Zech (Scott’s sister), Michael Schulman (Scott’s father).