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Town Board Restores Funding to Youth, Social-Service Programs

Restorations possible due to overestimated town employee health insurance costs.

Ending months of debate and back and forth voting regarding proposed 2012 budget cuts, the Huntington Town Board voted 4-1 last week to reinstate nearly $136,000 in social and youth service grants to area organizations.

With August insurance cost projections by town officials overestimated, funding for the programs was freed up, according to the town. About 90 percent of funding has been reinstated.

At a , a youth services funding reinstatement vote ended in a 2-2 tie with Town Board Members and voting against. Newly-elected Councilman Eugene Cook abstained.

On Feb. 6, Cook voted to restore youth funding with Mayoka reversing course, also voting in favor of the resolution which passed 4-1.

Again last week, Cuthbertson remained firm in his opposition of the arts and not-for-profit funding.

Cuthbertson said he believes restoration of funding would result in an increase of almost $400,000 in spending overall which wasn't in the budget Petrone prepared last year.

"I voted for a budget in November 2011 that had a zero increase in taxes. We achieved that goal in part by cutting funding to certain programs and now we have made one of the largest budget amendments that I've ever been a party to as a Town Board member," said Cuthbertson at .

Councilwoman has consistently supported funding to the arts and not-for-profit programs in each of three Town Board votes since being re-elected in November.

Town Supervisor cited fiscal responsibility and voted in November to cut funding until further review.

"We don't spend hoping that dollars will come in, we plan. We plan for that possible rainy day," said Petrone in November. "I'm very much opposed to any amendment that is premature."

Petrone has since voted for restoration of funding Jan. 10 and Feb. 6.

The Town Board approved Feb. 6 appropriations to the following programs: 

  • $36,000 to the Child Care Council of Suffolk, Inc, of Commack: $4,500 for a parent leadership initiative; and $31,500 for childcare enhancement 
  • $24,750 to the Family Service League, Inc. of Huntington: $18,000 for emergency housing relocation; $4,500 for a Work Plus program; and $2,250 for SeniorNet
  • $5,220 to the the Federation of Organizations, Inc. of West Babylon for a foster grandparents program
  • $1,800 to the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, Inc. for the Lend A Helping Hand students and science program
  • $4,500 to Literacy Suffolk, Inc. of Bellport for the Literacy Volunteers of America Program
  • $5,400 to the Pederson-Krag Center, Inc. for a mental health programs bi-lingual social worker in Huntington
  • $8,100 to the Huntington Station-based Tri-Community and Youth Agency, Inc. (Region I)
  • $6,075 to the Youth Directions and Alternatives, Community and Youth Agency, Inc (Region II)
  • $4,385 to the Regional Enrichment Agency of Commack and Half Hollow Hills, Community and Youth Agency, Inc. (Region III)
  • $8,100 to the Huntington-based Family Service League of Suffolk County.
  • $17,780 to the Huntington Youth Bureau Development Research Institute, Inc. (non-drug related)
  • $13,868 the the Huntington Youth Bureau Developmental Research Institute, Inc. (drug related)

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