For Immediate Release
July 17, 2012
Town of Clarkstown to Bill County
for the Maintenance of Street Lights, Traffic Signals and Hydrants on County
NY) – Clarkstown Supervisor Alex
Gromack and the Clarkstown Town Board approved a resolution at the July 10th
Town Board meeting to bill the County
of Rockland for the
maintenance and utilities on County roads.
Rockland County’s other four Towns are also
voting on similar resolutions.
A review of the street lights, traffic lights and fire
hydrants within the Town of Clarkstown
has revealed that the Town has been paying approximately $460,479 a year for
the costs of maintaining those fixtures along County roads within Clarkstown,
when all those costs are the legal responsibility of the County.
There are 1,982 fire hydrants in the Town and 247 of those
are on County roads. The Town estimates
the costs for fire hydrants on County roads is approximately $230,866. There are 5,359 street lights throughout the
Town and 526 of those are on County roads.
The Town estimates the costs for street lights on County roads is
approximately $99,650. There are 87
traffic signals in the Town and 52 of those are on County roads. Traffic signals include traffic lights,
flashing lights, school flashing beacons and firehouse traffic signals. The Town estimates the costs for traffic
signals on County roads is approximately $129,963 annually.
“As we start to enter our budget preparations for next year
all municipalities are struggling to stay within the Governor’s 2% tax
cap. While the Town of Clarkstown has been successful in the past
with a 0% tax increase in 2011 and 2012, we have to continue to look for ways
to reduce the cost of Town government,” said Supervisor Gromack. “We are in no position to be footing the bill
for the maintenance of County roads.”
The Town will bill the County for all costs initially billed
to or paid by the Town associated with street lights, traffic lights, and fire
hydrants adjacent to County roads including but not limited to electric supply
costs charged by Orange
and Rockland Utilities or other energy supply companies, repair costs, and
United Water hydrant charges. The Town
has also directed its Comptroller to make arrangements for all future bills
from service providers or vendors to be charged directly to the County.
The resolution also directs the Town Attorney to commence
appropriate legal action, either individually or with the other four Towns of
Rockland, to declare that the responsibility for all costs associated with
street lights, traffic lights and fire hydrants is the County’s not the Town’s
and to seek reimbursement from the County for all costs already paid by the
Other Towns have proven successful in similar legal action
including the Town of Huntington in Suffolk County.
The five Towns have retained Edward J. Guardaro,
Jr. of Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan, LLP, a municipal
land and road use attorney expert, who is highly experienced in these matters
and who has successfully handled similar claims on behalf of other
municipalities. Mr. Guardaro
can be reached for additional information at (914) 449-1000.
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