Las Margaritas (formally Fiesta Cancun) may become a Quick Chek convenience store and gas station sooner rather than later. At this week’s Stony Point board meeting a Quick Chek representative, Jeff Albanese, presented the current plan that the company has drawn up, in the event Quick Chek officially acquires the property.
Should it happen, the Quick Check will be a 24-hour grocery store, convenience store and gas station. It will also have an ATM and banking center. Inside will be a 14-seat eating area, while outside there will be an 8-seat eating area, as well as a 16-pump gas station.
The privately held, New Jersey based company, was originally started by a family of dairy farmers, who still own the business today. In the 1960s, when home delivery of milk ended, dairy farmers scrambled to find a way to distribute their milk. Quick Chek was born in 1967 as a solution.
Since then, the company told the board that it has made a large commitment to community outreach to areas surrounding their locations. They are known for their active involvement in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and as the frequent sponsors of Little League teams (of the 127 Quick Cheks, about 110 of them sponsor Little League teams). In terms of working with Stony Point in particular, they scrapped their original plan for how the building would look, which was rather bland, for one that fit in more with the character of the area. The new look will have a sloped roof.
“We are very excited, Quick Chek Corporation, about being up here in the town,” said Albanese.
Councilman James White brought up the point that there is a senior complex located next door to the site and said he was worried about a possible noise
issue. He urged Albanese to speak with people in the complex about the matter. Supervisor William Sherwood said that he has communicated to Quick Chek about this and they were looking into it.
Some local residents have expressed concern over the possible project. Many don’t feel Stony Point needs another gas station, and the nature of a Quick Chek might not be positive for the small town of Stony Point. Residents fear the town will one day be overdeveloped, referencing other Rockland areas, like Route 59. Other residents were upset over the prospect of the Fiesta Margarita building being torn down. Albanese confirmed this by telling Rockland County Times that “if our project goes forward, that building would no longer be there.” He did also add that the plan was still in its early stages.
Councilwoman Luanne Konopko originally had a similar negative reaction to the idea, but said, “I don’t want to see the charming building demolished, however, if the charming building is going to lay vacant because they have not found anyone else to take over the restaurant, it will just be a blight on our town. Also, it may conceivably double the taxes that the property brings in from that location.”
The truth of the matter is, whether you agree with it or not, Quick Chek may be coming. Las Margaritas is looking to sell, and if they choose to sell to Quick Chek, Quick Chek has a right to do with the property as they wish, as long as it stays within the confines of the zoning laws.
The company has agreed to preserve the rear area of land that runs steeply down to Cedar Pond Brook. They also will bring roughly 35 to 45 part and fulltime jobs to the area. If everything goes well, Quick Chek could be breaking ground after all government approvals in six months.
Another issue discussed at the board meeting was who to contract for senior bus transportation. The main concern was that the company the town generally uses did not come in at the lowest price when the town put the contract out to bid. By law, the board is required to either take the lowest bid, or throw all the bids out and redo the process all over again. The board, choosing to reject all outstanding bids, and start over, said this time they will take records of safety and reliability into account when they set the perimeters for the item before it goes out to bid. The original proposal was very brief and Philomena Divine, a local resident who is very familiar with how local bus companies stack up against one another said that, “One of them, I wouldn’t put my pet mouse on.”
The police report at the meeting revealed an upcoming retirement and a promotion. Police Chief Brian Moore announced Detective Kevin O’Connor would be retiring after 34 years of service. He then requested that the board promote Officer George Zayas, a 22-year Stony Point police department veteran, to detective. The board approved this and then Councilman Louis Vicari moved to terminate Chief Brian Moore’s probationary period as chief, as he is a 32-year Stony Point Police Department veteran and Supervisor Sherwood said he has been doing an “excellent job.”
Police Chief Moore then thanked retiring Councilman Vicari for his service as a councilman and as the former police commissioner. He presented him with a plaque from the Stony Point Police Department. This was Councilman Vicari’s last meeting, as it was for Supervisor Sherwood. Supervisor-Elect Geoffrey Finn stated, “A lot of people think that we don’t get along,” referring to Supervisor Sherwood, “but we do.”
This was met by laughter from the attendees of the meeting as the two argued a great deal at meetings during election season. He also said, “I thank him for making this transition to supervisor very comfortable for me, and he has done a great job of moving this town forward…I want to thank him for his service for the past two years, and as judge before that.” Finn then went on to thank Councilman Vicari.
Councilman Vicari responded to everyone jokingly saying, “I have mixed feelings about leaving, the mixture being ecstasy and euphoria.” He thanked all of his past and present board colleagues, and, extended his “best wishes to the new board.”
Next, Councilwoman Konopko announced that she recently attended a Land Use Leadership Conference focused on sustainable development in tough economic times at Pace University. She would like to bring some of her findings back to the town either at an upcoming meeting, or a special meeting. She also urged anyone with interest in participating in the Economic Development Committee to get involved. The next Economic Development Committee meeting will be January 11, 2012.
As reported previously, the Patriot Hills Golf course has decided to extend its season. They will be open through Sunday. For the month of November, the
golf course made $99,455.67. The extension will hopefully generate some revenue that had been lost to the weather this year. Director of Golf Dave Fusco also announced, “Our starter, John Esposito, who has been with us since the day course opened, lost his battle with cancer last week. In honor, I would like permission from the board to name a starter booth after John and post a plaque on the booth in his memory.” The board approved this.
Under their lease “Inn Credible Caterers” at the Patriot Hills complex are due a new floor covering every five years. Their current carpets are entering their eighth year in use and the town must now replace them, as they are their landlords. Supervisor Sherwood, during the meeting moved to change the contract to be every seven years rather then five, as five seems excessive, and the board supported him. As it stands now, the caterers are looking to replace the carpet early next year. They will have to go out and find a contractor to do the work and the board will approve the cost they must pay. At present time a Stony Point resident is slated to do the work.
The next Stony Point Town board meeting will me held at 7 p.m. at the RHO building on January 10, 2012. The town’s new supervisor, Geoff Finn, will preside along with new councilman Karl Javenes joining James White and Luanne Konopko. A fifth councilman will have to be either appointed for a one-year term or a special election must be held. This is expected to be the new board’s first matter of business.