By Jano Tantongco
Frank Cosentino has been elected president of the Huntington Station Business Improvement District.
Cosentino, owner of County Line Hardware in Huntington Station for more than 30 years, has been a BID board member for the last three years.
In regards to his new role, Consentino, of St. James, said he wants the BID’s emphasis to be “redirected back into the businesses that are here, the businesses that are paying into this group.
“Rather than talk about what Huntington Station is going to be three years from now, possibly, let’s talk about what’s here right now.”
Cosentino takes over the post from Keith Barrett, who has held the position for 12 years. Barrett, who will remain a BID board director, called Cosentino an experienced and successful businessman, believing he will tackle the post well.
“The BID needs to concentrate more on helping the businesses in the area,” said Barrett in regard to the direction he wants the BID to move in. “Helping struggling business and come up with some ideas to help business prospects.”
Cosentino, 61, said he wants to emphasize the marketing aspects of the BID to help businesses grow. He suggested the idea of insertions into local newspapers, as well as circulars that could promote local shopping.
“I think the BID should simplify their goals. We should spend more time and effort on promotion,” he said.
Additionally, he looked on development over the years in Patchogue for inspiration, noting a busy downtown was formed over five blocks that created a center point for the area. That then made him wonder what was Huntington Station’s “center.”
“That may be one thing that I would like to see the BID designate... To take that five-block area and see what we could do for those businesses to make that a little bit more attractive, and hopefully it grows from there,” he said.
At his 173 West Hills Road hardware store, Cosentino employs a dozen workers, including his only child, Francisco. Cosentino adopted Francisco in 1994, when Francisco was 17 months old and living in Chile.
Cosentino said he participated in the Rotarian PolioPlus program, which immunizes children in Central and South America against Polio. While in Chile, he met a social worker who later called him to ask him about the possibility of adopting an abandoned child.
“I explained to her that my first wife couldn’t have any kids. I always wanted them. I ended up going down there and adopting him,” Cosentino said.
Previously, Cosentino has held roles of Huntington Station Rotary Club president from 1990-1991 and 1999-2000. He has also hosted a family from Trinidad as part of the organization’s Gift of Life Program which provides heart surgery and temporary local housing for children and their families who don’t have such options in their own countries.
Cosentino started County Line Hardware in 1985, when he leased a store a few blocks from its current location. Ten years later he had his new store constructed where it currently stands.
“I was only 29 at the time, what did I know? I knew enough about hardware and I was young enough that I felt like I could do anything,” he recounted. “I said, ‘Let me give it a shot,’ and it worked.”