BY SARA GILBERT
The Town of Ramapo board met to discuss hiring employees, approving finances and purchases, and amending resolutions on Wednesday, May 23, as well as get a demonstration from the Suffern Syborgs Booster Club.
The Syborgs club won the local competition easily and placed 24th in the world championship, according to their coach, George Mugno, who also teaches math and engineering at Suffern High School. Of the 14 students in the club, six were at the meeting showing off two of the robots they built.
“This club involves students overcoming challenges and coming up with solutions, unlike anything they’d encounter in a typical school curriculum,” said Mugno, pointing out how wonderful this program was for the children’s growth and education.
According to Zac Wimer, one of the students, “It takes a tremendous amount of trigonometry and geometry in order to learn to build these. And the speed is 100 percent proportional to how much you move the joystick.”
The club was granted $3,000 from the Town to help defray their costs, which they were very thankful for.
Councilwoman Brendel Logan congratulated the group on their successes and said, “You are our future and I’m glad we are supporting programs like this. I’m very proud.”
In other advancements, Councilman Daniel Friedman announced an energy efficiency study that would get his G.R.E.E.N. project underway. The Get Ramapo Energy Efficient Now program is about finding out where the town is using energy unnecessarily and how that can be fixed to create a more sustainable and energy efficient community.
The town already approved two million dollars for funding of this project, which when completed will save the town and taxpayers millions of dollars. Friedman thanked Lawrence for his support in backing the program and helping make Ramapo more sustainable.
The meeting also resulted in the finalization of four positions: a new groundskeeper for the Parks and Recreation Department; a senior file clerk for the Purchasing Department; a provisional senior file clerk for the Purchasing Department; and a clerical employee for the Town Attorney’s office.
More jobs were created as well as part of a program from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Workforce Investment Board of R.C. Long Term Unemployed. “This is a New York State program, so it doesn’t come out of the Town’s budget, but it’s a wonderful program,” said Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence. “There will be three crews of eight members each put to work, this program is employing 24 people who really need it.”
All amendments to the 2012 budget were approved, including: receipt of a donation from American Recycling Technologies (DARE) for $875; receipt of New York S.T.E.P. Grant for $4,566; transfer of funds to the Building, Planning and Zoning Department for $3,500; establishment of Petty Cash Funds for the Parks and Recreation Department; transfer of funds from the Police Department to the Parks and Recreation Department for $1,050; a receipt of a grant from Wal-Mart for fire prevention of $1,000; and increase in compensation of board of assessment review.
Purchases of items were approved, including: counter replacement and wall protection in the Police Department’s Records and Communications offices; installation of Ballistic Resistant Glass in the Police Department’s Records and Communications windows; and repairing the highway CAT loader which was damaged during Hurricane Irene.
The second monthly meetings in July and August were canceled.