BY MARIA BROWNSELL
A combined town workshop and town board meeting in Clarkstown was held Tuesday after the last board meeting was cancelled due to snow. Nineteen snowstorms this winter have left the roads in lousy condition. Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard presented his plan of attack for this year.
According to Ballard, there is a 50 percent increase in calls for potholes and road resurfacing this winter. The town board has already committed $2.5 million in the budget for roads. There is also $682,000 left over from last year’s projects that the highway department ran out of time to complete.
Because of how harsh this winter has been, many of the roads that were originally budgeted to fix in certain areas now need to be entirely redone. Ballard said that $12.8 million will fix everything on his list, but admits he wouldn’t be able to do more than $7 million worth of work within the paving season’s time. The town would need to find about $3 million extra from somewhere in the budget.
“The safety of our residents is priority,” said Councilwoman Shirley Lasker. “We need to look at our capital plan and see what we can do.
The other board members agreed that these fixes are absolutely necessary. The roads are what connect the town’s people and businesses, without which there would be major problems.
“To find $3 million might be difficult,” said Supervisor Gromack. With all the budget balancing done and omitting projects already, there may not be too much wiggle room to come up with that money. The board decided they will think about the numbers and work on the topic again at the next workshop meeting. Meanwhile, Gromack has asked the state for assistance.
JoAnne Pedersen of Parks and Recreation talked about the end of the season closing for the town pools. Usually the pools close right after Labor Day, but this year Labor Day is much later than before. Schools recently announced that they are opening the week before Labor Day. Because of this, Pedersen said that keeping the pools open for the week while school is in session would not be cost effective. Most of the lifeguards for the pools are made up of college and high school students, which will not be available that week either. The proposal is to close Congers Pool on Sunday, August 30 for the season, Lake Nanuet on Sunday August 30th but opened for Labor Day weekend, and Germonds open only after school hours after the 30th.
Pedersen also announced that the new liner should be completed before the season begins, but if is is delayed, they will have a different pool open as a back up.
There was a public hearing continued about the proposed local law, “A local law amending the zoning map of the Town of Clarkstown, Nanuet Hamlet Zone.” Joe Simoes explained how many of the zoning lines will be snapped to areas to make sense on the map. The board closed and adopted the law.
The second public hearing was about 2015 community development block grant funds. There were no comments and it was quickly closed and adopted.