Stony Point Town Board Hammers Out Final Details for Volunteer Fee Reductions

BY CHERYL SLAVIN 

At last Tuesday’s Board meeting, Stony Point Councilman Tom Basile presented an addendum to his previously proposed resolution which would provide certain town fee reductions to volunteer emergency services personnel in recognition of their contributions. The resolution had been put over from the February 25 meeting to allow for consultation with Department Heads and render the reductions in dollar amounts rather than as percentages. The new schedule provides as follows: No fee for pool or use of the town dump; a discount of 10 dollars a week for the playground program; a day camp discount of 50 dollars for the first child, 20 dollars for the second child, and 10 dollars for each additional child in a single family; discounts of 25 dollars for swimming lessons and 15 dollars for tennis lessons, and a 25 percent reduction in the facilities use fee.

The only dispute concerned Basile’s original proposal of 10 dollars for the annual golf card and then a 7 dollar discount for individual rounds on top of the discount residents already receive. Supervisor Geoff Finn worried that this would produce too steep a loss of fees overall and affect the course’s Moody’s rating. Basile accepted a proposed change, supported by Councilman Jim White, to keep the individual rounds at the regular discount and eliminate the one time card fee altogether.

After the Board approved the modified resolution, Finn immediately made a motion to offer the same package of discounts to all town employees, regardless of their current compensation. Finn did not receive a second, so no further action was taken.

For the first time since its new administration took charge, Stony Point Ambulance Corps President Joe Segelbacher presented a progress report to the Board. He noted that overall the corps is improving, with call volume and responses up about 25 to 30 percent, along with an increase of former members returning and new recruits joining. The corps will also be receiving a new ambulance sometime in the late Spring, paid for out of Ambulance Corps reserve funds. Overall, his Board is planning to either replace three aging ambulances over the next three years, or if possible, remount some of them for about half the price. The improvement in service and volunteer numbers corresponded with an increase in expenditures for items such as additional fuel and training costs. An Entergy grant would pay for additional uniforms and equipment. The entire Stony Point Board commended him for the progress his Board has made since assuming leadership last summer.

The Board also approved the following appointments to the newly established Dog Park Committee: Joshua Fisher, Gina Guadagnino, Maria Molders, Christine Diaz, and Dave Zeigler, who fulfills the requirement that at least one member have an engineering or planning background. Tom Basile and Jim Monaghan, who co-sponsored the original resolution, will serve as Board liaisons, and Planning Board Chair Tom Gubitosa will serve ex-officio. Basile noted that there will continue to be future opportunities for other residents to get involved with the planning and execution of the park. Additionally, the Highway Department finally got approval for the purchase of a new snow plow vehicle in time for next winter. The Board voted 4-1, with White the only dissenting vote.

During public input, George Potanovic Jr. presented an update on the United Water desalination plant efforts. The NY Public Service Commission is still reviewing all the evidence and testimony presented last fall on the question of whether Rockland County is even in need of an additional water supply. Additionally, the Rockland County Municipal Consortium, of which Stony Point is a member, has brought a challenge before the PSC to a 28 percent rate increase proposed by United Water. However, another challenge, to the 56.8 million dollar surcharge United Water proposes to pass on to all rate payers for work already undertaken on the desal plant has thus far only been brought by the Town of Ramapo. Potanovic urged that Stony Point join in that challenge also, as well as join SPACE in urging Rockland County to become involved.

George Fonseca, resident at 16 Lindbergh Road, urged the Board to take action against his neighbor, Todd Pezzementi, who is running his commercial tree removal business out of his residential property. As previously reported by the Rockland County Times, the Town has already served Pezzementi with several violations and he has also been arrested and charged with harassment of the Fonsecas.  Fonseca presented packets of evidence to the Board and wanted to know why Pezzementi has not yet been shut down. The Board replied that it is aware of the situation and is pursuing it through the courts.