BY MICHAEL CAHILL
The Town of Haverstraw honored specific members of the town’s Hispanic population with Distinguished Service Certificates on Monday evening at town hall as part of Hispanic Heritage month.
Haverrstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips said he was proud of Havestraw’s Hispanic population, noting that the town has the largest Hispanic population in Rockland County.
The honorees were significant contributors to the town and community. The board members called them up by name and each was presented with a certificate. Residents, Ray and Matilde Lopez, Georgina Cancel, Arismendy Martinez, Domingo and Lydia Diaz, Carlos and Maria Rivera, Santi and Angela Valentin, and Francisco Borgos received awards.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the town board set a date for the public hearing on the 2013 budget. As it stands the 2013 town budget includes a tax increase of 8.86 percent and a tax levy increase of 11, exceeding New York State’s new 2 percent tax levy cap.
This means that residents can expect to see an increase in their town taxes next year. Currently the expected monetary increase per household is $150. Philips blamed lost revenue from the county and an increase in mandated costs from New York State as reasons for this year’s tax increase. The public hearing is set for Thursday November 8 at 8 p.m.
The board also deferred two agenda items scheduled for Monday’s meeting. One was a public hearing concerning the property at 11 Brisman Drive. The property has debris on it, and the owner is unable to pay for the cleanup.
According to town law, the town can pay for the cleanup of the property then change the owner back the costs on their property taxes. But first a public hearing must be held. At the behest of the town attorney, the board agreed to reschedule the public hearing for the November 13 board meeting.
Also on the agenda was the discussion concerning a lease with Verizon Wireless for a new cell phone tower on town property. Currently there is no site plan for the tower and the vote concerning the lease with will be postponed until the town receives the plan.
The town also voted to schedule the public hearing required by law to override the 2 percent tax levy cap for 2013. That meeting will also be held on Thursday November 8 at 8:15 p.m.
Finally, the town agreed to add its name to a possible lawsuit against the county seeking lost revenues. Haverstraw joins the other four towns in the county in retaining the law firm of Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP. Each town will contribute to the legal costs proportional to its size. Stony Point and Haverstraw will each contribute 10 percent of the costs for a dollar amount of $1,453.62.