PSC Postpones Surcharge Filing Date

According to James Denn, a spokesman for the Public Service Commission the agency is requesting that United Water New York postpone the filing date for a surcharge proposal that would increase the bills by $60 a year and, according to the company, would help them regain $56 million they spent on the proposed desal plant so far. An email from Denn on Friday stated that the PSC would like more time to review the surcharge. The company, who’s spending of the $56 million has been questioned in the past, stated that they agreed to the new date, which will be November 30, and they will not be taking any action on the plant until they are reimbursed for the money they have already spent, despite the PSC’s suggestion they continue their pursuit of permits. Alden Wolfe, Chairman of the Rockland County Legislature, stated that Unite Water spent money before the project was approved and the spending costs should not go to ratepayers.

Boulders Recap

The Boulders won two out of three games against the Trois Riveres Aigles this week, losing the final with a score of 3-2 last night. In the third inning the Aigles scored one run, followed by two in the fourth, giving them a head start with a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth the Boulders scored their first run, scoring their second in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead. The Boulders travel to Quebec today to play the Capitales in a four-game series starting tonight at 7:05.

Study Shows Payment of County Employees

A recent study done by an Albany think tank, the Empire center, showed that Rockland was in the top five counties in New York with highest paid government employees, spending an average of $61,689 on each county worker. The data was compiled over a couple of years, includes overtime and unused sick days and found that Ramapo employees are the highest paid in the county, topping the list with an average of $72,264 per person a year, with town police officers making $164,847 a year. Clarkstown followed closely in second for New York. Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St.Lawrence stated that the town has attempted to keep labor costs down by controlling the amount of employees, and he believes each worker is paid fairly.

Colton Elementary Sale Finalized

The East Ramapo School District completed their sale of Colton Elementary School to the Bais Malka Congregation and the Hebrew Academy for Special Children, who use the school as Yeshiva. District officials announced on Thursday that the $5.1 million sale was finalized after East Ramapo discussed the sale thoroughly with New York state education officials, and will generate income while freeing the district of liability for the property. The sale was postponed for a year and a half in 2011 when residents claimed the original price of $6.6 million was less than the property is worth. Education Commissioner John King allowed the sale to move forward, and earlier this year a judge ruled the district would deduct $1.5 million in rent credit due to the Yeshiva from the $6.6 million sale, making the final price $5.1 million. The district is hoping to sell Hillcrest Elementary School this year as well, recently authorizing it at a meeting. The building would be sold to long-time tenants Congregation Avir Yakov of New Square for $4.9 million. The previous sale of the property was cancelled when it was discovered the appraiser had accepted a $5,000 bribe from the Yeshiva to undervalue the appraisal on paperwork. If the sale goes through the district would have about $10 million in real estate revenue for the next school year.

Boulders Recap

The Boulders played their second game against the Trois Riveres Aigles yesterday morning, bringing in five runs in the first inning. Continuing with the lead in the second, Rockland got another run making the score 6-0. By the end of the game the Aigles had scored two runs in an attempt to catch up to the Boulders, but no luck, with the game ending with a final score of 10-2 they play back again tonight at 7:00 PM. Listen live at WRCR 1300 AM or online at wrcr.com.

Pomona Middle School will Have Longer Days

The East Ramapo School District will be increasing the length of the school day at Pomona Middle School this coming fall by two hours. The district was one of nine districts in New York to be awarded a $2.6 million Extended Learning Time grant from local nonprofit Wellcore to lengthen the learning period everyday, adding a ninth period in the day for academic instruction and a tenth for recreational programs. Now, instead of the final bell ringing at 3:14 in the afternoon it will go off at 5:21 in the evening. The middle school will hold an information session on August 13 for staff at 10:00 AM and parents at 7:00 PM, and will be sending letters home with information for students and parents. Earlier this year the school was awarded a $500,000 grant from the state Education Department that will provide students in need with eye exams, dental cleanings, and other services for low cost.

Summit Park Sale

County Executive Ed Day stated at a press conference on Wednesday that the sale of the Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center will officially give the county $10 million, which will go towards the deficit. The $36 million earned from the sale will be split to pay off various costs including $12 million in health care coverage and leave due to county employees who are leaving the payroll, $4 million to move the county Medical Examiner’s Office, clinics, and the Department of General Services, and $2 million for closing costs. The remaining $10 million will be put towards the $30 million deficit. According to the new owner Shalom Braunstein of Monsey, who runs Sympaticare LLC., his first step as the new administrator will be to meet the patients and get to know them, stating at the conference, “It’s 321 residents, this is their home and it’s about understanding their home and working with them to make sure their home is something they love.” The transfer of ownership is waiting on approvals from the state Health Department. Currently there are two lawsuits attempting to block the sale, the first filed by Northern Services Group, another buyer. The second was filed by the Rockland Civil Service Employees Association, stating it was to protect jobs and benefits for the workers who are being offered the opportunity to apply for positions with the new owner.

Spring Valley House Fire

Spring Valley Firefighters responded to a call on Tuesday around 3:00 PM for a house fire. According to Spring Valley Fire Chief Bob Johnson, there was heavy smoke coming from the home and volunteers found three children and their mother on their way out of the burning building. Rockland County Fire Coordinator Gordon Wren stated officials are investigating the cause and whether of not the house had been illegally converted, since firefighters found six bedrooms with at least ten beds, one room converted from the house’s original dining room. No one was injured in the blaze but the house was destroyed, displacing seven adults and five children from two families.

Thruway Repairs Beginning

Starting today the Thruway will be undergoing repaving, bridge repair, improvements in drainage for flooding, and safety upgrades in the the southbound lanes from exit 16 to exit 14B in Ramapo. According to the Thruway Authority the repairs will be taking place nightly for two months, closing at 8 PM on Mondays and Fridays and 5 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The project will cost $28.8 million, $3.8 million to raise the roadway 1.7 to 2.5 feet where flooding is prone, and all lanes will be reopened by 6:00 AM daily.

Clarkstown Men Arrested For Stealing AC Units

According to police two men from Clarkstown were arrested and charged after they were caught allegedly attempting to steal copper piping from the inside of an air conditioning unit on the roof of a vacant building on North Middletown Road. Police stated on Monday that they charged Kenneth and Kevin Hoyt, who police believe are 30-year old twin brothers, with trespassing violations, a felony count of second-degree criminal mischief and misdemeanor counts of possession of burglar’s tools and petty larceny. When police arrived they stated the Hoyts had used a ladder and taken apart several units. The men were arraigned in Clarkstown, Kenneth’s bail set at $4,500 and Kevin’s at $1,500.