EklecCo NewCo LLC, the owners of the Palisades Mall in West Nyack (the 12th largest mall in America) is suing the town of Clarkstown to overturn a restriction on 250,000 square feet of space. The mall owners claim that they have tried for years to negotiate the restriction on the unused space with the Clarkstown Board to no avail. The Clarkstown Board is abiding by a 2002 public referendum that denied the expansion. In a statement the owners claim, “Our lawsuit seeks to invalidate an illegal and unconstitutional restrictive covenant that was improperly imposed two decades ago by the Town Board.” They are seeking legal fees and millions of dollars in damages.
Supervisor George Hoehmann just called The Morning Show and informed us that the fire at Germonds Village in Bardonia took place in the center complex. 6-8 fire departments were called to the scene at approximately 6:50 a.m. Two units on the second floor are completely destroyed by the blaze and two units sustained fire damaged. There are lower level units that have water damage from putting out the blaze. Hoehmann is reporting that several firefighters have sustained minor injuries. Route 304 in both directions is closed off from traffic. We will have more on this story and the cause of the blaze as more information is released.
“There is no place for hate,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day from the steps of the Rockland County Courthouse yesterday. Day and Human Rights commissioner Penny Jennings along with diverse group of community leaders led a rally to denounce hate crimes on the heels of two strong “fireworks” that appeared to have targeted two rabbis in New City this week. Alongside Day was New York Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Evan Bernstein who offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individuals responsible for the attacks. Bernstein stated, “We hope that the issuing of this reward will lead to the swift apprehension of those responsible for this potential hate crime.” If you have information you can contact the Clarkstown Police tip line: 845-639-6233.
Republican David Tubiolo who defeated Christine Peters in yesterday’s special election won the vacant seat on the Westchester County Legislature. Legislator Bernice Spreckman resigned in June after holding the position for twenty years.
The US Coast Guard is in Washington, D.C. working on a plan to establish 10 new anchorages along the Hudson River. US Senators Charles Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand believe the public has not been given ample opportunity to provide input. Commercial ports are being considered from Kingston to Yonkers that would allow commercial vessels and barges to anchor at designated sites. Presently there is only one designated area and vessels anchor at other sites for emergency use only. The comment period for the first stage of proposal process runs until September 7, the deadline for the Coast Guard to call for a public heard was June 30. Schumer and Gillibrand want the Coast Guard to work closer with local, state and federal agencies to study the impact on safety, economic impact, and the effects ports would have on the overall life of the river and surrounding communities. (Source: MidHudsonNews.com)
County Executive Ed Day said in a statement that Rockland County has filed its second quarter report to the state Comptroller, and has reduced spending $35.3M from the previous year – this is the largest year over year decrease in Rockland history. Day said that Rockland’s budget deficit dropped from $138M to $19M since he took office two years ago. The county has had three credit rating upgrades in two years of consecutive budget surpluses. However, amid this good financial news the report also shows Rockland is running a $1.2M deficit this year. Rockland Commissioner of Finance Stephen DeGroat said in the report to the Comptroller that, “The main driver of this shortfall is in the revenue category. There is a high possibility of a significant shortfall in the sale of real property of $4M due to the failure of the Legislature to pass the needed authorization to sell the Sain building.” DeGroat informed the Comptroller’s office that the County Executive Day has implemented austerity measures to protect the county’s treasury and assure credit rating agencies that Rockland remains in control of its finances.
The Rockland County Legislature has written a resolution calling on the Clarkstown Town Board to formally dismiss all charges leveled against Chief Sullivan when it meets Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at 11 Hempstead Road in New City. The resolution states that the charges brought against Sullivan “are highly questionable and political in nature”. Sullivan has publicly stated that he is innocent of all charges. Last week over a thousand residents and law enforcement officers gathered to declare their public support of the 33-year veteran of the force and calling for his reinstatement. The resolution, once approved, will be sent to Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann and the Clarkstown Board and among other officials and law enforcement agencies.
For commuters all seven lanes were officially open this morning on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Then motorists found there were long delays as two tractor-trailers stalled on the bridge and there was debris from another truck. While those obstacles have been removed — drivers are still slowing to see some remnants of the red crane that collapsed over all lanes and closed the bridge last week.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day has announced a Stage 2 water emergency for the county. Stage 2 is a preventative measure. The average rainfall in March and June has had a 36-percent drop. According to Day, “there is not enough water in the Ramapo River right now.” Stage 2 implements water-use cutbacks for homes and businesses including alternate day scheduling for watering of lawns, restaurants will serve water only upon request, and cars may only be commercially washed among other restrictions. These restrictions apply to those who use well water as well. The county Health Department will enforce the restrictions and fines have the ability to reach $2,000 per day. For a full listing of restrictions and Suez water conservation ideas visit RocklandGov.com
If you are heading over the Tappan Zee Bridge this morning the conditions will be similar to yesterday. Three lanes in each direction will continue to be open with one outer southbound heading towards Westchester will remain closed as workers repair damage caused by a construction crane accident Tuesday afternoon. The single lane closure could last a few more days. In the meantime, commuters should expect delays in the morning and evening commute.