BY SARA GILBERT
The Town of Haverstraw met for its regular board meeting at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 14 to discuss purchases for the town, approve budgets and allow the community a chance to voice opinions and concerns.
Favio Ortega lives on Pratt St. and owns a family business on New Main St. and voiced concerned about scooters being driven around town recklessly, mentioning that his daughter almost hit one because they don’t obey traffic laws. In addition to that, he complained about gangs: their dress, misbehavior and drugs.
“I already called this in to the police,” Ortega said. “I’m going to take this into my own hands if nothing’s done because I can’t have this.”
In response, Supervisor Howard T. Phillips Jr. said, “Are you telling me that you’ve already called in these violations and nothing’s being done?” Phillips agreed that they needed to have a meeting to discuss the reckless driving, parking and drug dealing further.
However, Ortega’s complaint about the gang’s clothing, wearing pants around their knees and showing underwear, is not a violation and unenforceable. “Obviously I’m not in favor of having gangs in our neighborhood,” said Phillips. “But what can we legally do unless we catch them doing something illegal.”
Other complaints included the roads, especially along Route 202.
“We’ve written letters and tried to find out why they’re not repairing them yet, and so we’ll see what happens,” said Phillips.
On a positive note, one resident came forward to commend the town on its compost project. “I’m here to thank the town for providing free compost and mulch. It’s a wonderful service,” he said.
In announcements, Phillips said that if Congresswoman Nita Lowey wins re-election and N.Y. Senator William Larkin wins, “this could be very good for Haverstraw.
“We’ve accomplished a lot already working with Lowey,” he said. “Larkin has been in touch and he’s very hands-on, very involved!”
During the meeting, it was agreed that Hess Small Business Services, LLC will begin supplying the Town of Haverstraw with natural gas beginning June 2012 and ending May 2015, for $0.5930 per therm. A therm is a unit of measuring natural gas, specifically it is the energy equivalent of burning 100 cubic feet of natural gas.
“We tried to find new competition for natural gas and save money,” said Phillips, who admits he wished the saving were bigger but Hess was the best of the options.
Advertising for bids for a wood chipper, tar kettle crack sealer and bus transportation for summer recreation program were all agreed on.
Approval passed to increase the 2012 Haverstraw ambulance corps budget by $24,207 in order to change the radio frequency to narrow banding, according to FCC regulations.
Printing of the 15,000 Bowline Pool brochures was approved for $2,230 at the Dexter Printing Services of Guttenberg, N.J.
Emergency gas pump repairs at the Haverstraw Highway Department at a cost of $5,276 were approved.
It was agreed that American Towers, located off Route 210, would receive $8,278 in tax refund for overpayments since 2007.
Phillips recognized the success of the first run in Haverstraw, organized by the Parks and Police departments. With over 300 runners, “it really went great,” he said.