Library, ambulance focus of Monday’s Town Meeting in Huntington

  • Amanda Loiselle, the director of the Huntington Public Library and Carol Fidrych-Duda, the youth service assistant, check in books and videos at the front desk. On Saturday, voters will decide on overrides to fund the library and ambulance operations. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2022 2:38:33 PM

HUNTINGTON — The annual Town Meeting on Monday may be the site of dramatic fireworks or a relatively quite affair, depending on the results of the Saturday’s special town election at which voters will decide on overrides for the library and ambulance budgets.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit controversial just because of those override questions,” administrative assistant Jennifer Peloquin said. “Everything else is basic.”

At the special town election, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stanton Hall, voters will decide on two Proposition 2½ overrides, one for $86,328 to fund the library and another for $58,777 for ambulance service.

If the overrides pass, both budgets will also have to pass at Town Meeting, which will be held at Stanton Hall on Monday starting at 7 p.m. Conceivably, override opponents could attempt to block the tax increases on Town Meeting floor.

If the overrides fail, supporters of the library can still try to fund it from stabilization or free cash on Town Meeting floor. By state law, the ambulance service has to be funded, so in the event of an unsuccessful override the town must find another source to fund it with, such as stabilization or free cash.

If the Huntington Public Library doesn’t receive the $86,328 it is requesting, it will not be eligible for state funding or certification and will close on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

The town operating budget with the library and ambulance overrides included for fiscal 2023 would be a little more than $6 million. This also includes all of the school costs for the town. That’s up about 5.8% from the budget approved for the current fiscal year.

Another question on the 23-article Town Meeting warrant involves adding more categories for kennel licensing fees beyond the current two.

There will also be a one-article special Town Meeting tackling transfers of free cash at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.
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