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Oakland Avenue Residents Up In Arms

Days after their road was repaved, residents learned that it would be re-opened for the installation of a gas line to the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Residents of Oakland Avenue in East Northport are upset after learning that National Grid may need to tear up their newly repaved road to install an 8-inch pipe as part of a gas line project at the .

Jane Reich, a 23-year resident, said she learned about the plans just days after repaving was completed on Oct. 24. “Everybody takes good care of their homes,” she said of her neighbors. “We take pride in where we live.”

Reich said the road hadn’t been repaved in at least 10 years, and she and her neighbors are just asking that if the pipe is installed, that the road be properly re-paved. She said they also want to know why the Town of Huntington would spend the money to pave the road, only to have to open it up again. Safety issues are also a concern.

A meeting held Wednesday between the and National Grid was not open to the public, and Reich expressed frustration at the lack of information. Reich said Superintendent of Highways William Naughton had not responded to her phone calls.  

The Town held a public meeting on the project in July. Reich said her understanding was that notice of the meeting was posted in papers, but was not sent to residents. “It’s a nice neighborhood. If someone had known, word would have gotten around. We would have gone.”

Reich said she and her neighbors have contacted Town officials, and that Susan Berland, Glenda Jackson, and Mark Mayoka had agreed to contact the Highway Department to gather more information.

On Thursday morning, Mike Kaplan, a representative from the Highway Department, said they haven’t seen any plans of what National Grid is proposing and that the company hadn’t even applied for a permit. “We were unaware of this project,” he said, and directed all calls to Naughton. A phone call to Naughton’s office was unreturned.

Wendy Ladd, a spokesperson for National Grid, said however, that the Highway Department had signed off on permits for the project over the summer, but those permits expired. She said that at Wednesday’s meeting, the Highways Department asked for revisions to National Grid’s plans, and Ladd said new plans would be re-submitted on Friday.

Ladd said conversion to natural gas at the medical center would offset over 10,000 tons of CO2 annually. That amount is equivalent to taking approximately 3,750 cars off the road.

Reich said she had no problem with the medical center’s plans for gas conversion but with the way the project has been handled. “With everyone struggling to pay our ever increasing town taxes, how could the town be so wasteful?"

Karen Murphy November 04, 2011 at 07:26 PM
they did the same thing on Grundy Ave. in Holbrook. Totally ridiculous they look for ways to waste our money!
Scamp November 05, 2011 at 02:07 AM
anyone notice just about a month or so before voting.... william naughton always starts to pave road, clean the streets, ect
belloq November 05, 2011 at 02:02 PM
How long has Naughton held that job? Term limits? Change is good. Enforce it.
belloq November 05, 2011 at 02:13 PM
The other annoying issue is that Naughton's name is plastered on every truck and sign. It's like we are paying for a perpetual re-election campaign. Going forward, when the person in that position changes or repainting is needed, the individual names are left off: the town seal and "highway department" is all that is needed, thank you. The current added cost and self-praising is unnecessary.
photomike1 April 07, 2012 at 12:31 AM
mr naughton has i highway worker at the cost of 27$ an hour plus benifits dedicated to painting his name on road barricades year after year and they are not even painted up to highway safety code standards and then there is the cost of the wood
photomike1 April 07, 2012 at 12:37 AM
if you think that cost is wasteful you should see the bill the highway dept ran up fotr the hurricane irene clean up. they hired 40 plus outside contractors at over $800/hour per truck from texas for 6 plus weeks, then they tried to pawn off the cost to fema so either way the taxpayer gets the bill and the highway dept gets the credit. and then there is the cost of your free leafbags which runs over 1.5 million bucks with a little card reminding you who gave you those free leaf bags
photomike1 April 07, 2012 at 12:40 AM
the highway dept paves every year but they hold back money from each yearly budget to make a bigger impact in the election year they figure when you drive to the voting booth on a nice new road you will be more apt to vote for the incumbent Mr naughton when you get there
photomike1 April 07, 2012 at 12:43 AM
the hwy dept is the most racist entity this side of the mason dixon line and has cost the taxpayer countless money in lawsuits because of their spitfull biggoted attitude

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