Huntington Establishes First Town Court System on Long Island, Third in New York State
At its November 6, 2019 meeting, the Huntington Town Board held the 2020 budget hearings, established the first municipal Bureau of Administrative Adjudication on Long Island, waived parking meter fees in Huntington village for the holiday season starting November 29, 2019 and accepted a donation of a season-long holiday light installation at Heckscher Park.
The Town Board established the Town of Huntington Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (BAA), the first of its kind on Long Island and only the third in New York State, to hear cases of Town Code violations that threaten public health, safety and welfare, except for violations of the Building Code (Chapter 87).
“During my time in the New York State Assembly, at the urging of the Huntington Town Board, I sponsored legislation, that was signed into law by the Governor during my first year as Town Supervisor, authorizing the Town to prosecute public health, safety, and welfare violations of the Huntington Town Code via a Town-operated bureau of adjudication,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “As Supervisor, I have now had the unique opportunity to establish this new tribunal, which will be one of the most significant changes to the Town Code in decades. This new procedure for the hearing of violations of the Huntington Town Code will result in a more streamlined and fair process and it will allow our Public Safety inspectors to address code violations more quickly and proactively.”
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Councilman Eugene Cook were both serving on the Town Board when it voted, on June 15, 2017, to adopt a home rule message urging the New York State Legislature to authorize the Town of Huntington to establish an administrative adjudication hearing procedure.
“In 2002 I introduced legislation before the Town Board to create a zoning violations bureau. I am delighted that many years later with the cooperation of the state legislature and the Governor this stream-lined code enforcement mechanism is now coming to our town,” said Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
“I am proud to have been on the Huntington Town Board from the time we urged the Governor to support this legislation to create the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (BAA) and now to be a part of the process of seeing this law into fruition,” stated Councilman Eugene Cook. “The fact that the Town of Huntington is able to establish a Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, will allow us to move forward to ensure the quality of life for all Huntington residents. This BAA allows for a more effective streamline approach to handle the public safety violations concerning health, safety and welfare of our residents, enabling the Town to be more productive in resolving these issues in a timely manner, that affect us all.”
In the holiday spirit, the Town waived parking meter fees in downtown Huntington village from November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020.
The Town Board accepted a donation, loan and installation of lights and decorations valued at $32,852 from Looks Great Services, Inc. of Huntington for a seasonal holiday light display at Heckscher Park, which will include lights on the Heckscher Museum façade, the cottage and playground shade structures, as well as lights and wreaths on the lamp posts around the pond and throughout the park from Thanksgiving weekend through the end of the year.
“A big thank you to Looks Great Services, whose generosity will add to the holiday spirit in Huntington and enhance the beauty of Heckscher Park as a destination for the holiday season,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci.
The Town held its annual public hearings on the 2020 budget, which included presentations on budget estimates from Departments of Comptroller; Environmental Waste Management; General Services; Public Safety; Parks & Recreation; Transportation & Traffic Safety; Human Services; Youth Bureau; Engineering; and Planning & Environment.
In other action, the Town Board:
- Amended the Code of the Town of Huntington, Chapter 156 (Property Maintenance; Nuisances), Article III (Miscellaneous Nuisances); to strengthen enforcement against unlawful disposal of water from swimming pools, man-made ponds, basements, washing machines, pumps and other sources upon private or public lands, abutting streets, sidewalks or roadways.
- Amended the Code of the Town of Huntington, Chapter 170 (Stormwater Management), Article I (Illicit Discharges and Connections); to prohibit the connection of any pipe, hose, or equipment to the Town of Huntington’s stormwater management system, its drains, catch basins, leaching pools, recharge basins, sumps or other component part thereof and strengthen the Town’s enforcement activity against such acts.
- Accepted a donation of audio equipment valued at $34,717 from the Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute Inc. to upgrade the sound system used during the Summer Arts Festival on the Harry Chapin Rainbow Stage in Heckscher Park.
- Allocated $5,000 in Community Development Agency funds to support local community programs: $1,000 to Huntington Public Library Station Branch for its 90th anniversary celebration; $1,500 to Gateway Community Gardens for the raising of bed heights for better accessibility; $1,500 to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc for the HBCU fair at Stimson Middle School; and $1,000 to Family Service League for its Pre-K program.
- Authorized the use of Community Development Agency funding from Community Development Block Grants, in the amount of $42,000, to rehabilitate sidewalks and curbing at adjacent to the newly constructed Columbia Terrace veterans housing on Lowndes Avenue, Railroad Street and Columbia Street in Huntington Station.
- The Town Board scheduled a public hearing for the Tuesday, December 17, 2019 Town Board meeting at 2:00 PM to consider authorizing various actions be taken upon certain properties designated as blighted in accordance with Chapter 156, Article VII, Article VII, §156-60 (Blighted Property).