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Wading River Voters Reject Fire District Bond

Plans to borrow $4.75 million to fund a new fire house were rejected.

Uncontested elections in the Riverhead and Wading River Fire Districts went off without a hitch on Tuesday night – Mark Conklin skated to re-election in Riverhead and Tom Lautelere in Wading River – but Wading River Fire District voters rejected a proposition to bond for $4.75 million to build a new fire house.

The referendum came as part of a $5.75 million project, $1 million of which the district would have used from its reserves. The measure failed, 198-126, according to Assistant Chief Jim Evans.

"I've lived in Wading River my whole life, and I heard from a lot of people it was too big for Wading River. That it just wasn't necessary," Evans said.

The proposal would have nearly doubled the size of the 6,000-square foot building on Hulse Landing Avenue.

While Evans said the cost per household was expected to fall between an additional $20 and $30 per year in taxes, part of the fire distrcit also falls within the Riverhead School Distrcit; in October of last year, voters approved borrowing nearly $80 million to upgrade schools. That proposal is expected to cost the average homeowner in the distrcit about an additional $175 per year over the next 25 years.

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