WEST HAVERSTRAW BOARD FOCUSES ON SUMMER

BY KEITH SHIKOWITZ

April showers bring May flowers and the nice weather that follows brings with it all of the repair work and projects that need to be done after a long winter. One request for some after winter work came from John Dano of Kennedy Drive, that the old Verizon poles in Samsondale be removed.

One major problem that faces people all over the country after winter is the potholes and damaged streets left after the salting and plowing of the winter. Municipalities are left with fixing these so people don’t destroy their cars. The Village, to take care of this problem, approved a contract with the Gorman Group to install Fibermat/Paver Placed Surface Treatment. Mayor Robert D’Amelio said, “This is for all of the streets we are doing on the east side of the railroad tracks. We’re doing a lot of streets this spring and summer.”

One of the spring/summer projects the Village has been working on is the improvements to the DPW Garage facility. Even though there is a budget set for these things, sometimes changes have to be made due to unexpected circumstances and additional funds are needed to take care of the situation. D’Amelio asked for $34,781 and the approval of a change order for the improvements. “We added a couple of things. We moved some walls around. We added the FOB system (electronic key system), which is the most expensive of all of this. Should be done in about a month or so. It looks good, it’s coming along,” he said.

Joe Corless, Village Engineer clarified the reason for the request: “The major thing is that mezzanine was the roof. They used it as storage above and it was being supported by the metal flashing only, so when the guy took the wall out, the whole thing settled down a couple of inches, so the choice was to abandon the mezzanine or put in new support walls, so that was the big number fifteen grand or something.”

Samsondale Ave. bridge work was completed and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday May 17 at 1 p.m. “We’ve got a nice bridge. It’s time to open up the road. Our residents down here have been very, very patient and good about the annoyance of the extra traffic, mostly on Wayne Avenue, which seems to be the busier road a lot of people bypass Tanneyans Lane and just take the shorter way by going up Wayne. But our residents have been phenomenal. They really have been.”

The nice weather also creates a need for seasonal employees at the parks and other places due to the increased work and opening of the summer day camps. The village authorized the hiring of seasonal employees for DPW and an agreement for the T-shirts for the day camp and other summer activities with Impressive Promotions Product.

The one thing in life that everyone has to deal with and many dread are their finances. The one thing people fear most is having their finances audited by the government. This is a normal part of governing for the local governments. The Town of Haverstraw, Village of Haverstraw and the Village of West Haverstraw have all entered into agreements with Berard and Associates to do an audit of the governmental and other books. After the authorization to engage the company, D’Amelio stated, “We do this every year, have our books audited.”

The 16th annual 5K Family run is taking place on Sunday, June 2 throughout the Town of Haverstraw. The proceeds from this activity will be going to benefit three Haverstraw families, Sofia Cervantes Flores, Jelien Ramos and Ryan Berwick. The Village added $500 to the pot. “This is the 5K family run that the town does with the school district and it’s a big turnout. This is great, it goes through our park. This is a phenomenal event. This is good for a lot of people,” D’Amelio said.

The rest of the meeting covered many governmental business activities. Among these are approval for the Village Treasurer Catherine Kopf to attend a training seminar. “This is a one-day training seminar on June 12 in Carmel, NY, which just happens to be close to where the treasurer lives. It’s free of charge,” Kopf said.

The only two guarantees in life, according to philosophers, are death and taxes. In order to collect the latter, the board approved a Tax Warrant for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. “This gives me the authority to collect $5,010,000 in village taxes.” Kopf said. D’Amelio added laughingly, “Definitely want you to do that. Please do that. You can do it twice.”

Many people in government have multiple positions and are constantly changing positions. Katherine Welsh, D’Amelio’s Assistant, was also the Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics. She resigned that position and Michelle Craffey was appointed to take her place.

Injuries to workers happen all of the time. That is what worker’s compensation insurance is for. The Village renewed its village employees, and volunteer firefighters’ workers’ compensation insurance policies and the Municipal workers’ Compensation alliance at a cost of $213,276. “[That’s] lower than the cost last year,” Kopf stated.

Firefighters need the best equipment and it needs to be in the best working order it can be for the firefighters to save lives and protect their own in the event of a fire. To facilitate this, the Village approved the purchase of a few MES-6 SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) cylinders at a cost of $5,602.38.

“These bottles are almost like the propane tanks for your BBQ grill,” Ralph Kirschkel explained. “They reach a life expectancy and they can no longer be used. So, our bottles are constantly coming out. We add two new ones at the end of each cycle, if we have money left in the budget, [and] budgets have been coming out pretty good. So we’d like to go ahead and add a few.”

At the beginning of this year, Johns to Go was receiving complaints from the residents of North Wayne Avenue for stinking them out with the waste from the cleaning of the porta potties. After numerous court appearances and negotiations with the Village, town and the landlord, it appeared that they would be moving out of their current place in the middle of May. The middle of May has come and gone and this has not happened yet.

“You’re talking about what they represented,” John Edwards, Village Attorney, responded. “As opposed to what they have done. So, yes, they’re supposed to be out, apparently there has been contract, negotiations with the landlord, but they have not apparently found a place to relocate. I spoke to the landlord two days ago. He will be bringing an eviction proceeding. They’re in court. And that’s the status. Is it likely they’ll be out by the end of May? No. They’re not going to be out by the middle of May, because that would be tonight.”

Upcoming events in the town and village include:
• Monday, May 27, 2019, at 9 a.m.: Memorial Day Services will begin at the Town of Haverstraw Town Hall, followed by a service at Calico Hill at 9:30 a.m.
• Wednesday, May 29, 2019, starting at 11 p.m.: the Town of Haverstraw will host its annual “Watch Fires” at Bowline Point Park. Fires will burn continuously through.
• Friday, May 31, 2019 starting at 8 p.m.: the Village will host Dancing Under the Stars on East Railroad Avenue..
• Sunday, June 2, 2019 starting at 9 a.m.: The Town of Haverstraw will host the annual NR Community Fun Run I Walk 5K, the race kicks off directly after the race the Town will host the Cal Ripken Badges for Baseball event at Bowline Point Park.

At 1 p.m., the Quisqueya Sports Club will host its Softball Inauguration at the Manny Lopez Field in Haverstraw. And the Village of Haverstraw is hosting the Flavors of Haverstraw Food Crawl, which will begin in the parking lot of Sterling Bank.