June 2013As we are beginning to leave the spring season and enter summer, we would like to update you on the numerous projects and events that have occurred and that are planned for this summer season.
• The Town has been inundated with questions regarding the status of the Hudson River shoreline in Haverstraw, specifically Bowline Point Park since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The entire Bowline Park was under water during the height of the storm. With the storm surge, picnic tables were carried across Bowline Pond, the roof of the bathhouse and concession stand were severely damaged and the seawall and walking path were destroyed. The Olympic size pool and kiddie pool had accumulated 30 tons of silt from the Hudson River. The waterline on the tennis court fence was three feet high. Now the good news. Our Parks and Highway Departments have been hard at work restoring and rebuilding the areas that were seriously damaged. We estimate the damage at $1.3-1.4 million which should be reimbursed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and SEMO (State Emergency Management Office). The Town completed temporary protective measures along the shoreline. Bowline Park opened in mid-April. The pool facilities will be opened on Father’s Day weekend and the walking/jogging path will be fully functional.
• The Town of Haverstraw has received a Community Development Block Grant for $80,000 to build a jetty into the Hudson River. We have estimated the cost of the jetty to be $100,000. We continue to seek funding to build at least two more jetties and ideally a total of five jetties, which would greatly protect the new seawall to be constructed in the fall at Bowline Park.
• During the winter, construction of a new sewer pump station at Bowline Park was completed. This replaced the original station that was built in 1975. The new station is more energy efficient and will help to reduce our electricity cost. The approximate cost is $100,000 of which $80,000 was paid for through a grant.
• We are very pleased with the Bowline Lighting Improvements that were completed this spring. The estimated project cost was $214,000 of which $190,000 was paid for through a grant. The new lighting consists of 18 pole lights in picnic areas; 5 double-headed poles in the parking lot and 36 Bollard lights along the scenic perimeter of the walking path giving it a marina appearance. We hope you enjoy the new amenities.
• We replaced the sand and mulch located in the four playground areas and volleyball court as a precautionary measure at Bowline Park, due to Hurricane Sandy.
• At Bowline Park there was minor damage to the John Grant Gazebo that was repaired and we are pleased to say that the Thomas Lawless Pavilion was not damaged. Our fishing pier also remained in good condition throughout the storm.
• We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Congresswoman Nita Lowey, State Senator William Larkin and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski. All three of your representatives were in our community the day after Hurricane Sandy assessing the damage. They have been instrumental in assisting us with the federal and state agencies overseeing the restoration efforts.
• The annual Vietnam Veteran’s Watch Fire was held on Thursday, May 30th. The ceremony took place at Bowline Park. It was a very moving ceremony where those who have served our country were remembered. Special thanks to Mike Hatala, James Mickinowski, Robert Bates, Peter MacTaggart, John Fay, Richard and John Smith, Peter and Jason Novak, Joe Sarvis, Tom Carol and Bill Kelemen.
• We would like to thank Leo Lader’s Post 130 for our Memorial Day Services. The Honorable Senator William Larkin was the guest speaker. It was wonderful to see so many of our residents
participating in this ceremony. Please keep all of those who are serving our country and those who have served in your prayers.
• The 10th Annual North Rockland Community 3-Mile Run/Walk was held on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 9:00 am at Bowline Point Park. This event was sponsored by the Towns of Haverstraw and Stony Point. The walk benefited young people from three North Rockland families: Luke Colluzzi, Carmello Farrior and Michell Ramos-Baez - all three children have serious illnesses. Thank you to all those who came out to help support a great cause. Also, a special thank you to Jeannie Nicolakis and Joseph Bochnik who were each presented with a plaque in gratitude for their dedication to the North Rockland community.
• Our Annual Independence Day Celebration will take place on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 with a rain date of Friday, July 5th at Bowline Point Park. The fireworks commence at 9:30 pm. Once again, this year we have the pleasure of having the Heartbeat Dance Band, who will begin performing at 7:00 pm. The park will open for non-park card holders at 5:00 pm.
• The Town will continue to sponsor our free Senior Exercise Swim Class which is held every Saturday after the pool opens from 10:00-11:00 am. If you are 60 years of age or older you are eligible to participate in this program. On Sunday mornings, the Town sponsors free Mommy and Me Swimming Classes for infants and toddlers. If mommy cannot make it, daddies are more than welcome. You must be a Bowline Pool cardholder.
• Any Town resident age 60 or older is allowed to obtain a senior citizen card for free at Town Hall. This entitles you to use Bowline Point Park at no cost. However, guest fees do apply.
• If you are a volunteer firefighter or ambulance corps member you are entitled to half off the membership fee for an individual or family plan for Bowline Point Park. In addition, volunteers do not have to pay for the membership card for the Philip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course. You must be an active member and live in the Town of Haverstraw.
• The Thursday Night Open Air Concerts will have their kickoff on Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Bowline Point Park. The first performance will be by “Flat Five.” The concerts will run every Thursday evening and end on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend with the 5:00 pm performance. Non-card holders can enter the park after 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 1, 2013. Please check out our website at www.townofhaverstraw.org for the concert schedule.
• At the Town of Haverstraw’s Philip J. Rotella Memorial Golf Course we have a very active schedule for this golf season. Currently, there are a Lady’s League on Tuesday evenings, Men’s League on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Seniors League on Thursday mornings, junior after-school program and junior camps during the summer. For more information please call the golf pro shop at 354-1616. This year we were pleased to host the PGA’s National Five Man Scramble, the Rockland County High School Championships, the Region 15 Junior Community College Golf Championships, and are looking forward to hosting in August the MET PGA Junior Golf Championships and Rally for the Cure for Breast Cancer Outing. During June, July and August we will be hosting Special Olympics on Thursday nights (special thanks to Charles Jones and his wife Susan.) We would like to give recognition to our Golf Pro, Michael Laudien and our Superintendent of the Golf Course, Cal Fowx for their excellent work.
• If you belong to any organization that is interested in hosting a golf outing, please do not hesitate to call the pro shop. Our rates are very competitive and the staff is extremely accommodating. In addition, Sonoma Grille Restaurant can accommodate large golf outings and has an excellent reputation for casual fine dining. The website for the restaurant is www.sonomarockland.com or you can call at 354-8900.
• The Village of Haverstraw along with the Town of Haverstraw and the Arts Alliance will sponsor this year’s Dancing Under the Stars, which will take place on Friday, June 21, 2013 and Friday, August 24th at 7:30 p.m. on Maple Ave. next to the Village Hall in Haverstraw. It is a fun evening of dancing and sure to be a great time.
• On Saturday, June 29th the Village of Haverstraw and the Town will be hosting the 100th Anniversary and Rededication of the Civil War Monument on Hudson Avenue and West Broad at 11:00 am. If you have never had a chance to view the Civil War Monument it is very beautiful and the only Civil War monument in Rockland County. Haverstraw’s 95th Regiment played a vital role in many of the major battles of the Civil War including the Battle of Gettysburg.
• The Village of Haverstraw’s Farmers’ Market on Maple Avenue at the Haverstraw Village Hall is open. This is a great opportunity to purchase freshly grown vegetables from local farmers. Hours are from 9:00 am-1:00 pm.
• The Village of West Haverstraw launched several initiatives with funding received from the New York State Creating Healthy Places program. A multi-generational playspace opened this spring at Peck’s Pond Park. It features outdoor exercise equipment and 4 picnic tables (two with wheelchair accessibility). A walking path was marked with bright yellow street signs, beginning at the Village gateway on Railroad Avenue and continuing to Samsondale Avenue, along Tanneyanns Lane and into the park. A Farmers’ Market is scheduled to open in the Peck’s Pond parking lot on June 27. The market, featuring vendors selling locally-grown produce, will be open every Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon. Also, area community groups are encouraged to submit notices for posting on the Village’s electronic billboard and in the park kiosks. Please submit via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Please keep Sunday, Sept. 22nd open for the Annual Street Fair in the Village of Haverstraw. If you are a vendor, please call the Village Hall at 429-0300 and they will place you in contact with the organizers.
• The 3rd Annual United Latin Festival and Parade will take place on Sunday, August 4th at the Haverstraw Elementary School (formerly Haverstraw Middle School). The parade will kickoff at the Haverstraw Post Office at 11:00 am. This year’s Grand Marshall will be Yolanda Lopez, a Gold Star Mother whose son Col. Manny Lopez, United States Army perished in Iraq. The Parade Godfather will be Hector DeLeon and the Latin Honoree of the Year is Isidro “Papo” Cancel. In addition, the Latin American Students of the Year are Pamela Rodriguez and Eric Collazzo. Also being honored as Businesses of the Year are Union Restaurant, NSA Supermarkets and Haverstraw Transit. It is a day to celebrate the Latin culture with great performers and dancing. To march in the parade, be a sponsor or a vendor at the festival, please email the committee at UnitedLatinFestival@yahoo.com.
• Our Youth Board has done an extraordinary job with this year’s events. Some of the events have included the Broadway plays “Annie” and “Cinderella”, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Taylor Swift concert, Medieval Times, and Six Flags Great Adventure. There will be a Mets vs. Phillies game on July 21st. A special thanks to our Youth Coordinator and the members of our Youth Committee.
• Our 7th Annual 90+ Annual Recognition Day will be held on Monday, July 15th at Bowline Point Park. If you are or know someone who is 90 or above and would like to participate, please call Town Hall at 429-2200 and we will make sure that person’s name is included in the day’s events. Thank you to our Senior Leader and staff for all their work and preparation.
• The Town of Haverstraw Senior Citizens Program has been growing in numbers and activities. Some of the events have included trips to The Empire Casino, Biloxi/New Orleans, Sands Casino, Wildwood, New Jersey and future events include trips to Lake George and Resort World Casino at Aqueduct and many other events. Our seniors meet at the Knights of the Columbus every Monday.
• The Hudson Valley Radio Control Club will be hosting two air shows this summer at the Scenic Hudson Riverview Park on Beach Road in West Haverstraw. The first is War Birds over the Hudson scheduled for Saturday, July 20th from 10am to 4 pm, which will feature scale military aircraft from WWI through today’s modern aircraft. Rain date is Sunday, July 21st. The second event is the 4th Annual Town of Haverstraw Airshow scheduled for Saturday, August 17th from 10 am-4pm. Rain date is Sunday, August 18th. For further information please go to www.HVRCC.com.
• The Haverstraw Town Board was proud and honored to recognize volunteer firefighter Andrew Kolesar of the West Haverstraw Fire Department for his heroic and brave actions in saving the life of a fellow volunteer firefighter. On April 22nd the Town Board presented Andrew with the Town of Haverstraw Medal of Valor. Andrew was also named New York State 2012 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.
• We are very proud of the work that our Police Department has been performing especially with the youth of our community. A new program that was recently initiated is the North Rockland Youth Explorers under the direction of Det. Richard Spatta, Haverstraw PD and Det. George Zayas, Stony Point PD. The program is open to high school students and if any of our youth are interested, please call the police station and ask for Det. Spatta at 354-1500. The Explorers do volunteer work throughout the North Rockland community.
• The North Rockland Youth Academy will begin its 8th session this September and is open to all high school students. Anyone interested in the program should contact Det. Spatta at 354-1500 or Det. George Zayas at 786-2422. The program lasts for 10 weeks and covers numerous law enforcement topics as well as hands-on police training.
• The Town of Haverstraw Youth Court graduated 25 high school age students who participated in the year round program where the students act as judge, jury, defense attorney and prosecutor. This enables youth who have minor offenses to avoid going through the criminal justice system. The Youth Court has been very successful for the students who participate.
In keeping with the topic of law enforcement we were recently able to make the following purchases:
1. 75 new hand guns and holsters at no cost to the taxpayer
2. 10 Tasers at no cost to the taxpayer
3. 10 AR-15 rifles at no cost to the taxpayer
4. 2 Speed Solar Signs at no cost to the taxpayer
5. Live Scan Fingerprint System at no cost to the taxpayer
• We would like to recognize Police Chief Charles Miller, District Attorney Thomas Zugibe and Sheriff Lou Falco who through their efforts with their officers assigned to the Narcotics Task Force and Intelligence Units were able to acquire these seizure funds that allowed us to purchase these law enforcement tools. So far, we have been able to purchase over $200,000 worth of police equipment at no cost to the taxpayer.
• Even though the County of Rockland has discontinued the funding for the Intelligence and Narcotics Task Force, we have made the decision to keep an officer in the Narcotics Task Force. The Task Force is arguably the most successful law enforcement tool in the history of Rockland County. The number of arrests and successful prosecutions has been unprecedented.
• The County of Rockland has passed on the costs for college chargebacks and elections to the Towns. You may wonder what the Towns have to do with community college tuition costs and the answer would be “nothing.” However, under a state law, the county can charge back to the Towns the cost of tuition for college students from Rockland who attend community college outside of Rockland County. The real insult is the fact that the county keeps the revenue that it receives from college students who live outside of Rockland that attend RCC. Regarding the cost of administering elections, now that Rockland County finds itself in a dire financial situation, it is refusing to pay for these costs and has placed the financial burden onto the Towns.
• Since taking office, Town Clerk Karen Bulley has been making new improvements by periodically extending hours of operation. Please check our website for the Saturday morning office hours and weekdays during June. You can also call the Town Clerk’s office at 942-3727. There are now two notaries on staff with the rest of the staff being trained. More forms for the Town Clerk’s Office are available on the Town’s website. Mrs. Bulley has also applied for a grant for the storage of vital records.
• The Town of Haverstraw Highway Dept. will continue its annual micro paving and crack sealing for Castle Ct., Hemlock Lane, Pine Drive, Woodridge Drive, Brennan Ct. and Kramer Ct. If funding is available we will expand our program to additional roads.
• As of the beginning of this year the Bowline Power Plants were purchased by a new power producing company. The new owner, NRG Corp. is now the largest private power producer in the nation. Since the institution of deregulation in the power industry we are now on our fifth owner of these power plants. You will recall that they have been demanding a 97% reduction in their assessment which, if granted, would reduce their total taxes to under $300,000. This is completely unacceptable. We will keep you aware of the progress of the challenge to their assessment as information becomes available.
• United Water New York is under a consent order by the New York State Public Service Commission to provide another water source for the residents and businesses of Rockland County. The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has accepted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). United Water has submitted the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to NYS DEC and has been informed by the DEC staff that they have no further questions. As soon as we receive more information, we will inform the public.
Registration for Day Camp, Golf and Bowline will be held at Town Hall and is as follows:
• Town of Haverstraw Day Camp: (FOR CHILDREN IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF THE TOWN ONLY) Day Camp runs from July 1 – August 9, 2013. Children must be between the ages of 6-13. Registration began June 3. The times and dates can be found on our web site at www.townofhaverstraw.org.
• Golf Registration: Monday – Friday between 1 pm & 4 pm.
• Bowline Registration: Monday – Friday, June 3rd until August 30th, 2013, 1 pm – 4 pm; Saturdays June 22 & 29, 10 am – 1 pm; Tuesday evenings June 18 & 25, 6 pm – 8 pm; and Thursday evenings June 20 & 27, 6 pm – 8 pm. Opening day for Bowline Park Pool is Saturday, June 15th.
• Congratulations to the St. Gregory Barbarigo CYO 7th Grade Boys Basketball Team for capturing the 2012-2013 Rockland County & New York State Archdiocese Championship titles.
• Congratulations to the outgoing Chiefs of the Volunteer Fire Departments within the Town of Haverstraw: Thomas Westervelt of David B. Roche, Patrick J. McNamee of Haverstraw Fire Dept. and Lloyd Hovelmann of Hillcrest Fire Dept. On behalf of the people of Haverstraw, we would like to extend our gratitude for their faithful service to our community.
• Congratulations to the GARNER Arts Center for receiving a donation of $6,000.00 from First Niagara Foundation to launch the Gallery Restoration Campaign. In addition, the Preservation League announced the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center’s listing on the State Register of Historic Places as the “Rockland Print Works Historic District.” Under the leadership of Robin Rosenberg and the Board of the GARNER Arts Center they are transforming this industrial site into an active arts community and commercial business park. Thousands of people have attended their annual art shows. The GARNER Arts Center is located on Railroad Ave. in the Village of West Haverstraw and it is known as an “Art, Business and Cultural Destination all in one location.” For more information please check out their website at www.garnerartscenter.org.
• Congratulations to Corinne McGeorge and the Haverstraw Brick Museum for their exhibit “Along the Minisceongo.” It is a fascinating study of the history of the Minisceongo and the important role it has played in commerce and recreation throughout the Town of Haverstraw. Under Corrine’s leadership, she has formed Hudson Valley Exhibits, Inc., a nonprofit which enables these exhibits to take place.
We will continue to provide the most affordable and efficient Town government in the State of New York. We welcome all of our residents to our Town Board Meetings which are held the second and fourth Mondays at 8:00 PM and we welcome you to visit our web site at www.townofhaverstraw.org.
HOWARD T. PHILLIPS, JR.
ISIDRO CANCEL VINCENT J. GAMBOLI JOHN J. GOULD HECTOR L. SOTO Councilman Councilman Councilman Councilman