Low Down on Jan. 9 Ramapo Town Board Meeting

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

Suffern – The Ramapo Town board convened at 8 p.m. on January 9 to discuss matters of town business, including a grant for Hurricane Sandy relief, reimbursements for the Maccabi Games, the annexation of certain properties into the village of New Square, and the consolidation of fire districts.

The biggest item was an authorization to accept National Emergency Grant through the U.S. Department of Labor. The program will reimburse the Town of Ramapo for their efforts to employ unemployed workers during the clean-up efforts.

Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence took the opportunity to thank town and county government officials in securing the grant and bringing money back to the town.

“It’s a lot of paperwork going through the state and federal government in order to get these reimbursements,” St. Lawrence said.

Another set of reimbursement grants from the County of Rockland were approved by the Town Board to cover police service costs associated with the 2012 Maccabi Games. The resolutions cover overtime training of $5,368 and operational overtime costs totaling $34,810.

A third grant agreement to consolidate several local fire districts was also approved. The agreement authorizes the approval of a $45,000 grant for an ongoing plan which will eliminate three fire districts and consolidate other fire protection administrations without sacrificing fire services for Ramapo residents.

According to Councilman Daniel Friedman, the town is likely to bid for consultants specializing in government consolidation, who will assist in keeping the cost of the re-organization low.

In a matter unrelated to grants, a petition by landowners in New Square to annex unincorporated properties in the Town of Ramapo was approved. The petition was accepted following a SEQRA Determination, which ensured that no negative environmental impact would occur as a result of the planned building project.

A public hearing had been held by a joint session with the town board of Ramapo and the village board of New Square. Supervisor St. Lawrence stated that concerns which were raised by attendees over access of emergency vehicles to group homes were addressed in the final determination.

Following the board meeting The Ramapo Town Board held a re-organization meeting to appoint public officials to various positions within the town and approve other resolutions for the year of 2013.

For board and commission positions, James Reece was chosen for the Golf Course Committee, Richard Weinberger for the Commission on Ethics, Sylvain Klein for the Planning Board, Charlene Weaver for the Zoning Board of Appeals, Mark Berkowitz for the Citizens Advisory Council on Community Development, Karen Kornreich for the Site Selection Committee, Dr. Isaac Wurzberger for the Community Health & Wellness Committee, and Yvons Y. Louis for the Ramapo Taxi Advisory Board.

Appointments also included Denise LaGarde and Blima Gross as sub-registrars of vital statistics in the Town Clerk’s office, Craig Long as Town Historian, and Christopher St. Lawrence, Chief Peter Brower, Captain Thomas Cokeley, Captain Brad Weidel, Sergeant Michael Colbath as members of the Traffic Safety board, Christian G. Sampson as the Deputy Receiver of Taxes, and Ann Kosh as town photographer.

While serving as the Chairman of the Traffic Safety Board in 2013, St. Lawrence will also serve as the director of emergency services with Anthony Sharan, Chief Peter Brower, and Anthony Mallia as deputies.

Ten deputy town attorneys were also appointed: Alan Berman, Janice Gittelman, Michael Specht, Meyl Troodler, Richard Ackerson, Anita Conklin, Aaron Troodler, Martus Granier, Beth Finkelstein, and Stephen Powers.

The attorneys, all of whom have served the town for at least several years, will assist in areas including litigation, zoning, traffic coordination, contracts, village justice courts, environmental advising, coordination with police and county officials, and other miscellaneous legal work.

In addition, official media and news services were designated, banks were chosen as official depositories, town board meeting dates were set for the second and third Wednesday of each month, a salary schedule was adopted for 2013, various consultants’ proposals were accepted, and there was a setting of mileage rates, meal rates, and attendance at schools, seminars, and other town business.