United Water Denied Surcharge Request

The Public Service Committee unanimously denied United Water New York of their request for surcharges on customer bills to repay the $56 million they claim was spent in preparation for the Hudson River water treatment facility. At the meeting on Thursday the PSC ruled that there isn’t a need for the desal plant at this time, and the company was ordered to stop pursuing permits and to take the next six months working on alternative plans such as conservation with the Rockland County Water Task Force. The surcharges would have added $60 a year to resident’s bills and residents and officials who fought the plant consider this a victory. Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski stated that he is looking forward to working on new policies and thanked the PSC for listening to the ratepayer’s side of the argument.

Absentee Ballots Counted; Results In

The absentee ballots for two close elections in Rockland County were counted yesterday. In Suffern the results for the two trustee seats were too close to call immediately after the November 4 election, and on Wednesday they showed that Republicans Edward Markunas and Robert Morris beat incumbent Democrats Jo Meegan-Corrigan and John Meehan. In the race for the open seat for District 5 in the Rockland Legislature, Republican Lon Hofstein beat appointed Democrat Barry Kantrowitz by 117 votes.

Correction: In earlier reports it was stated that Kantrowitz won by 46 votes. That was incorrect, it was 117 votes.

Sparaco Fired From Clarkstown Highway Position

Legislator Frank Sparaco, who was arrested on Monday on charges of fraud for allegedly submitting forged petitions to the Board of Elections, was fired from his position as confidential secretary to Clarkstown’s Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard. Ballard appointed Sparaco to the $100,000 a year position earlier this year, and Sparaco had filed his resignation which would have been effective December 31, before the decision was made to let him go. Sparaco is accused of 38 felony counts of forgery and misdemeanor violations of election laws. He will return to court on December 8 and faces a sentence of seven years in prison.

Man Attempted to Lure Young Girl into Truck

According to Ramapo police a teenage girl reported that a man approached her while she was walking alone to her home in Wesley Hills. Police stated that the man, described as a clean shaven Hispanic man with thinning hair and an average build, was driving his white pickup truck when he passed the 14-year old girl on Kentor Lane, as she walked home from her bus stop around 6:00 PM Monday evening, turned the car around, attempting to lure her into the passenger seat. The girl continued walking and informed her parents and the man drove off. Police ask that parents make their children aware of the danger of speaking with strangers and kids should yell and run away if approached.

House Explosion and Fire in Valley Cottage

Police and fire investigators have uncovered the cause of a house fire in Valley Cottage on Monday night. Around 7:45 PM neighbors reported hearing an explosion at the address on Quasepeck Avenue, and police responded to the building completely engulfed in flames. The homeowners made it out of the house without injuries and investigators have determined that a car left idling in the garage caused the explosion. Various news reports have stated that the building was completely destroyed by the blast and fire, and has been deemed uninhabitable.

New City Resident’s Life Saved After Use of a New Heroin Antidote

According to Clarkstown Police, an officer used a newly released Heroin antidote to a woman to save her life on Tuesday. Police stated that a 50 year old New City resident went into respiratory distress after usually a Fentanyl Patch as pain relief, which is more potent than Heroin or Morphine. Around 4:45 in the Morning, an officer administered Narcan, which was distributed to various New York police departments this summer and is made from the drug Naloxone. The woman was able to start breathing on her own after two doses.

Clarkstown and Rockland County Officials Speak Up About Legislator’s Arrest

Clarkstown and Rockland County officials are speaking up about Monday’s arrest of legislator Frank Sparaco on accusations that he submitted forged petitions. In the Journal News, Democratic Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner stated that Sparaco should resign from his elected position due to the 40 charges he faces and constituents deserve a legislator who can focus solely on them. Sparaco faces felony charges for false information in petitions as well as falsely claiming he rented a room in his house to two of his cousins to allow them to vote in Clarkstown. Rockland Republican Committee Chairman Lawrence Garvey stated to the Journal News that election reform needs to be implemented now more than ever, and the Republican Party is taking steps to fight corruption. Sparaco was released without bail on Monday and is set to return to court on December 8th.

Suffern Treasurer Claims Village is Refusing His Insurance

According to the former Treasurer of Suffern, Thomas Zordan, who retired in late September, the village is refusing to pay his health insurance now that he isn’t working for them. Zordan stated to the Journal News that he believed he would be on the village’s health insurance for free for the rest of his life, and was surprised when it expired on November 1. The 55–year old worked for Suffern for the last ten years and according to a village attorney, Lance Klein who spoke with the Rockland newspaper the interim Treasurer Michael Genito found discrepancies and errors in the financial report. Zordan stated that the village is attempting to find reasons to avoid paying his health insurance and he did nothing wrong. Klein stated that retirees are required to pay an unspecified amount to receive coverage and a forensic accountant will be hired to look into claims of financial errors.

Legislator Frank Sparaco Arrested for Petition Fraud

According to reports the District Attorney’s office arrested Rockland County Legislator Frank Sparaco on Monday afternoon on multiple felony counts of first-degree criminal possession of a forged instruments and first-degree filing a false instrument and misdemeanor misconduct charges. The 38-year old Republican Legislator filed petitions this past summer in an attempt to have his supporters elected to the Clarkstown Republican Committee, in the end losing control of the party to supporters of County of the party to supporters of County Executive Ed Day. According to the District Attorney’s investigation into claims of petition irregularities, they also discovered that Sparaco claimed to be renting a room in his home in Valley Cottage to his cousins, though allegations state that he was falsely doing so to allow the two men to vote in Clarkstown. Sparaco stated during his arraignment that he will be hiring a lawyer and the Judge ordered him to return to court on December 8 and that he be released without bail.

Clarkstown Board Votes to Oppose Ramapo Zoning PLans

According to the Clarkstown town board and reports from the Journal News, members unanimously voted at their November 5 meeting to pass a resolution that would fight the town of Ramapo’s building between Spring Valley and Nanuet. Owners of the property along North Pascack Road are looking to change the zoning from medium density housing to multifamily housing, which would mean, instead of three homes per acre there would be 12 units per acre, including 190 apartments on 18 acres on 27 on another 3. Members of the Clarkstown Town Board approved the resolution to oppose the zone change, Supervisor Alex Gromack stating that the new complexes would bring about 2,000 residents, causing problems for Clarkstown’s drainage systems, which the board will fight to prevent. A public hearing will be held at Ramapo Town Hall on Wednesday at 8:00 PM where the building sites will be discussed.