Lowdown on this week’s Haverstraw Town Board Meeting

BY KOREY WILSON
(L to R) Town Supervisor Howard T. Phillips Jr.; Finance Director Michael Gamboli; Councilman Isidro "Papo" Cancel and Councilman Vincent Gamboli discuss agenda items at Monday's Town Board meeting in Garnerville.

It was business as usual for the Town Board of Haverstraw on Monday, November 28. The Town Board held its regular bi-monthly public hearing at Haverstraw Town Hall in Garnerville. The board discussed and successfully passed several expenditures on the town’s agenda.

Among them was the purchase of two new four-wheel drive mason dumps with a 9-foot west snowplow.  “The two new trucks will replace two of our older trucks,” said Frank Brooks, Superintendent of Highways.  “During the summer months, they’re used for work trucks and hauling small materials.  In the winter time, we use them for clearing snow in the town.”
The board also agreed to install a fence at the Haverstraw landfill.   “It’s very important that we have the landfill enclosed,” said Haverstraw Supervisor Howard T. Phillips, Jr.  “We had problems in the past with youths riding off-road vehicles and dirt bikes on the grass nearly destroying it.  We have to keep this area secured.” The new fence will cost $250.
The board passed an agreement between the Town of Haverstraw and the Nyack Hospital Employee Assistance Program.   “This is a program we offer to all employees,” said Phillips.  The program allows Haverstraw employees to receive services such as treatment and counseling.  “It’s a very good program.  If there ever is a problem with our employees, it keeps them working and not out from work,” added Phillips.
The supervisor and council members also approved authorization of Town Assessor to attend continuing education course, which is required by New York State Office of Real Property.  “You want to have the Assessor knowledgeable about all of the cutting edge information coming out.  It amazing how much information changes,” said Phillips.
Supervisor Phillips informed the public that the town board meeting scheduled for December 26 would be cancelled.  “We will schedule a special meeting to adopt tax rates.  We can’t set it now because it will predicated on when the county legislature and county executive approve their budget,” he said.
Monday’s meeting had low public attendance, but one Haverstraw resident managed to ask an important question.  Mel Post raised a question that he asked at a previous meeting regarding the United Water’s desalination plant.
Once the water desalination plant is open, the average price increase for Haverstraw residents will be roughly $250 per year.  Post said to the board, “Considering that the Town of Haverstraw is going to reap the benefit of this income as a ratable, could the town offset the cost for individual residents?”
“We’re hoping to do so,” said Phillips.  “The funny thing is when a municipality adds to its assessment then reflects a savings to residents, you must include every single property owner, which includes multiple businesses.  The one who benefit the most is the largest property owner.  In this instance is GenOn Energy, Inc. Yes, we will try to accomplish what you asked but we can’t guarantee it.”