West Haverstraw Board Honors Margi Chapman For Service To Village

On May 5th 2021, during a meeting of the West Haverstraw Village board, local resident Margi Chapman was recognized for her outstanding service to the community.

Mayor Robert D’Amelio and the village board came forward to present Chapman with a plaque to commemorate the work she has done to support the village of West Haverstraw.

Margi for years worked for the school district and she still loves to volunteer up there and give so much of her time. Margi is a jewel,” said mayor Robert D’Amelio. “ During the pandemic she took it upon herself to ask the Village Board if she can do a blood drive. That turned into three of them so far. She’s organizing everything.”

Chapman’s generosity also extends to the members of the town government who she frequently works with in her charitable efforts. “She’s providing a service, organizing a blood drive for the good of the community and she gets 40 – 50 pints donated each time. Yet she feels obligated in her heart to buy all of us at Village Hall lunch. It’s just crazy,” said D’Amelio. Margi interjected, “I’m still going to do it.”

Chapman was born in Haverstraw, as she proudly proclaimed, on August 12, 1946, 29 Broad Street, and is proud to be “one of the few natives left in the Village.” Chapman worked as a teacher for 44 years and still has a passion for it that matches her passion for charitable projects. “I ran many blood drives for the middle school and West Haverstraw. June 14, is our next blood drive, which is National Blood Donor Day. It’s extra special for me this year,” said Chapman

Follwing Chapman’s recongintion the board began it’s usual bussiness, starting with a public hearing on the annual MS4 Storm Water Report. D’Amelio introduced Michael Shilale and John Cirilli to give the report.

Storm water is a critical part of all of our drinking water here in Rockland County” said Shilale. “Protecting storm water is critical to our health, drinking water and environment. The state requires every year the Village reports on the storm water system that we have. It’s called MS4. Which is Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. It’s separate from the sanitary sewer. All of the resources the village has, have to be identified, inspected.” When he was finished, D’Amelio asked for public comment.

Shilale was asked if the contamination recently discovered in some Rockland well’s was the result of the storm-water system.

He answered, “not directly.” Shilale explained that the storm water is stuff that comes off the surfaces and is most often contaminated by phosphates or oil spills. Anything that can get into the streams because the catch basins are directly connected to them. The path from stream to aquifer or stream to reservoir is a longer path. Once it gets into the aquifer or reservoir, there’s a huge filtration process that happens before the water gets into the taps.

A lot of the contaminants that I think that you’ve read about really come from our ground water mostly. Some of those are either naturally occurring or from a contaminated site. There have been wells that have been shut down in Rockland County.

No further public comment was offered and a motion was asked for and a vote was taken to accept the 2021 MS4 stormwater report which was accepted.

The next item was discussed was permitting for restaurants that are hoping to continue to offer outdoor dinning as state restrictions ease. The board was looking at allowing the continuance of outdoor dining at the Industrial Arts Brewing Company and Hudson’s Mill.

This is something that is permitted right now under the governor’s executive orders. The village board started moving on this last year. We’re just looking to make a permanent fix at this for businesses in the village who want to continue past when the governor stops restoring that executive order.” D’Amelio stated.

Village Attorney John Edwards continued the explanation. “Two months ago, the board changed the code, adopting a text amendment to allow outdoor dining at restaurants which have indoor facilities. It’s an ancillary use which is pursuant to a special permit from the Village Board. The text amendment and authorization exist. The Village Board and planning board have to approve the final authorization. In the interim, pursuant to the governor’s orders, and to the resolution adopted last summer, the existing temporary outdoor dining.”

When the hearing was opened to the public, a question which covered items 2, 3, & 6 was asked. Will the governor’s lifting restrictions effect what you are doing with those three places for outdoor dining?

There will be some impact. He’s lifting restrictions on capacity and perhaps other aspects of the executive order. The right to permit outdoor dining at individual establishments is a matter of zoning for each municipality. This will carry forward this year, next year, as long as these establishments choose to conduct it in accordance with a new site plan. Whether the executive order impacts the extent, that’ll be a question going forward as to the effect of COVID.” Edwards responded.

Both public hearings were continued until June 16 and other public hearings scheduled included an outdoor dining resolution for Breakpoint Entertainment Center (Hi Tor Lanes), a proposed local law amending Chapter 155 Sub Section 5 of the Village Code relating to no smoking or vaping in Village parks and recreation areas.

The remainder of the meeting consisted of changing the status of part time (19 hours/week) DPW employees to 40 hour seasonal employees. The final item on the agenda was the announcement that the Village will be holding a coffee and bagels event at the Community Center starting at 9:30 on May 22.