All dolled up with nowhere to go

BY MARIA BROWNSELL

The Clarkstown Police Department is doing great with supplies. They have so much high tech equipment on hand and even more arriving. This includes vehicles, generators, information boards, and more for a total of $3 million worth of equipment. About $1 million worth of additional equipment is expected to come in from TZ bridge grants. The problem is where to put everything.

Currently the police department uses many different spaces around the town and even the county. They keep a $350,000 truck at the Spring Valley Fire Department. They use an old building where the roof is leaking and the ceiling is falling down for a large amount of supplies. The supplies are stacked up to the ceiling, and shoved in every corner. Many pieces of expensive equipment are sitting outside in all the elements throughout the year, explained Sergeant James McCormick.

A police storage facility is needed to keep all the equipment safe and together, especially for emergency situations. McCormick mentioned the possibility of the United Water Property, which is close to the police departments and out of site to the public. The land has been offered up on lease practically free, but the facility would need to be built by the town.

Resident Stephen Levine of Congers said that this needs to be done even if it costs a great deal of money, in order to preserve all the money spent on the equipment for the police department. Supervisor Alexander Gromack agreed and mentioned trying to get this accomplished by next winter, in a secure location with cameras and any other necessary security measures.

Another hot topic of the Clarkstown Town Board Workshop meeting Tuesday night was about Commercial Office Zoning on 9W and Rt. 303, and Clarkstown Executive Park in Valley Cottage. Town Planner Joe Simoes and Chris Titze of Cambridge Systematics explained the benefits of rezoning these areas as Commercial Office District which include more flexibility within in the buildings and to encourage spaces for walking to other places on lunch breaks.

One big change would be to allow related retail within the office space at a cap of 25 percent of 5,000 square feet, and unrelated retail, like delis and cafeterias, at 25 percent not to exceed 3,000 square feet. Parking requirements would be reduced, buffering would be changed to areas where it would be most effective, and motor vehicle charging stations would be added. Commercial Office Support zoning would be extended further out in hopes to connect the spaces to make the areas more walk-able and lower the number of cars on the roads.

Simoes also spoke about changing the zoning along Route 304 where many dealerships are from light industrial office to regional shopping. The Shops at Nanuet would also be changed to a Major Regional Shopping Zone.

Wayne Ballard, the highway superintendent went over his five year plan for road paving in Clarkstown. He requests $5.2 million to work on his plan. The plan is split into three different priority zones and detailed on each targeted road.

“We feel very confident that we have the worst of the worst,” said Ballard of the roads selected for priority repairs.

It was agreed that the parking lot at the Nanuet Train station needs to be dealt with right away, with its combination of potholes and poor drainage. Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner was very adamant that this project take priority.

“Where are we going to get the funds?” asked Councilman Frank Borelli. “There is a limit to how much we can spend.”

Tom Nimick of New City asked why the money is so much more than originally budgeted. The harsh winter was a major cause as the damage to the roads was much more than anticipated. A decision was not made as to the amount of money that would be budgeted for this year’s road paving project. The town board members asked to look over the presentation and talk about it again next week at the Town Board Meeting.