Schoenberger complains County Legislature not made aware of details of Hi Tor “Letter of Intent”

PRESS RELEASE

Rockland County Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, chairman of the Planning and Public Works Committee, will schedule a committee discussion regarding the “Letter of Intent” announced by County Executive Ed Day pertaining to a new shelter for the Hi Tor Animal Care Center.

County Executive Day announced the proposal to the media in a press release on August 22. According to the press release, Hi Tor would finance the design and construction of a new facility at its present location on county-owned land in Pomona and would donate the new facility to the county.

To date, the Letter of Intent and supporting documentation has not been provided to the Legislature, Schoenberger said. The press release acknowledges that the approval for the shelter construction is subject to legislative approval.

“We have not been provided with a copy of the Letter of Intent,” said Legislator Schoenberger. “I believe it is in the best interests of the county that this matter is discussed in committee since it involves use of county property and a long-term agreement with Hi Tor. It is unclear as to what financial impact there is on the county or what is proposed, governmentally or programmatically. I have had a number of people from the public contact me who are very concerned about the county executive’s proposal. The Legislature needs the appropriate time to review the county executive’s proposal before taking action. I am concerned that the Letter of Intent and the request for action by the Legislature will not be submitted to us until the very last minute after commitments have been made by Hi Tor and others and then we will be told we must rush it through immediately without adequate time for discussion. There is no reason that the Letter of Intent was not sent to us for our input and review immediately after it was signed. The

Legislature needs to know why this site was chosen and what other sites were considered along with all other aspects of the county executive’s proposal.”

Schoenberger will request the Executive Branch to provide a copy of the Letter of Intent signed by the county executive and any other documents that are relevant to the county executive’s proposal, the financial impact on the county and information on any alternative sites that were considered.