BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
Rockland County Legislature held their first full meeting of the year on Tuesday.
During the meeting the legislative body tabled a vote on a new proposed law called, “The Co-op Fair Treatment Law” until February. Three members of the Hudson Gateway Realtors Association (HGRA) spoke in favor of the proposed law during public comment.
The drafted law would set a 45-day time limit for approval or rejection to any application submitted to a housing co-op and if application is denied, the co-op must provide just reason for denial. Russ Wooley, President of HGRA stated, “It is only fair to received due notice of why an application is denied, in the same way a car loan, or mortgage loan must state reason for denial to the applicant.”
The Rockland legislators unanimously appointed eight members to the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority. Democratic majority members Michael Grant, Aney Paul, Ilan Schoenberger, Philip Soskin, Aron Wieder, and Republican minority members Doug Jobson, Pat Moroney, and Charles Falciglia were appointed.
New town supervisors George Hoehmann, Clarkstown, and Jim Monaghan, Stony Point, also join the RC Solid Waste management by virtue of their elected positions.
Democrats and Republicans were divided on a resolution to award payment of monies to non-profit agencies such as DMH-Mental Health Association, CANDLE, Lexington Center for Recovery, and Open Arms. Each of the 33 non-profits are requesting anywhere from $100,000 to $2.3 million for a total of about $5 million of the budget. The vote passed 10-5, with five Republican seats saying nay to the allotment of $5 million of these varied non-profit contract agencies, citing that there were no signed legal contracts in place.
Ilan Schonberger challenged that argument prior to the vote by stating that no member of the County Legislature read the bridge contract for a $12.5 million for Orangeburg CSX train overpass replacement, or any other of the nine contract resolutions, all of which the group passed unanimously. Lon Hofstein, minority leader, spoke with the Rockland County Times after the meeting and explained that the contracts are all in place and exist for every other resolution passed at the meeting, except the non-profits, which are supposed to be in legal contract with Rockland County to receive money.
Steve Powers, a representative of County Executive Ed Day’s office, sent copies of all legal paperwork in question by Ilan Schonberger to the Rockland County Times and said, “It is at the discretion of the clerk and chairman to the County Legislature to request these documents, and at no time did the clerk or the chairman request these documents.”
Payments to the non-profits are currently slated on or about April 30. Passed unanimously was a resolution to relocate the New Highway Facility at 36 Scotland Hill Rd. in Chestnut Ridge pursuant to a an eminent domain procedure law. Public Hearing will be held March 2016, at 7:05 p.m. at the Rockland Legislative Chambers.
The legislative body accepted a fund of $150,000 in accordance with a grant agreement with NYS Public Service Commission to enhance first responder training for fire and emergency personnel to be executed by County Executive Ed Day.
The Legislature passed a continuation of IPA/Navigator Grant from NYS Dept. of Health to reach uninsured children, adults and small business employers thought out the County. An amount of $675,000 was awarded for the period Oct .1, 2015 thru Sept. 30, 2018 with a $636 reimbursement for Employee Health insurance.
The body also approved, without issue, amendments in excess of $100,000 for A&T Health Care for Senior Citizens by way of the Office of the Aging not to exceed $172,000, and PMA management for worker’s compensation not to exceed $872,500. Crothall Services Group was awarded a total amount of $2.06M for the entire period of June 1, 2011 through December 1, 2015 for the environmental housekeeping for long-term acute hospital care, adult home, and other buildings at the county of Rockland Health Facilities by way of the Department of Hospitals.
The final order of business was an approval of an inter-municipal cooperation agreement not to exceed $15,630 between Rockland County through the DA’s office and the Village of Suffern for the disbursement of forfeiture funds to said village for Law Enforcement to cover overtime for an officer assigned to DA’s regonial investigative resource center for the 2015 calendar year.