Town of Newburgh Alive and Flourishing
By James McVey
Local heroes were recognized by the Town of Newburgh for their actions on November 1st, 2018. On that day police were summoned to a hotel on Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh. Upon entering the room, the officers involved discovered a newborn infant in the toilet. The infant had been abandoned by his mother and was not breathing. The officers responding that day were: Sgt Brucato, Officer Julia Haight, and Officer Connor Stegland. The officers administered first aid which started the infant’s breathing back up. Town of Newburgh Emergency Medical Services responded as well, with EMT Brian Pilus and EMT Eric Chatfield arriving on the scene to continue medical care and safely transport the infant to St. Luke’s hospital.
Upon presenting the awards, Supervisor Piaquadio told everyone in the room, “Thanks to the lifesaving efforts of these individuals the baby is doing fine today.” Piquadio went on to say, “If you save someone of my age you give them a few more years, when you save an infant on the first day of his life you saved an entire lifetime and I cannot thank those involved enough.”
All of this happened just shortly after 7:00pm on Monday January 14th, 2019 during the first regular public town board meeting of the year held in the Public Meeting Room at Town Hall, 1496 Route 300. A Reorganization Meeting Agenda was provided by Town Clerk Andrew Zarutskie with more than enough copies available for the public. The meeting began with an audible confirmation that Supervisor Gil Piaquadio, Town Clerk Andrew Zarutskie, Councilwoman Elizabeth Greene, Councilman James Presutti, Councilman Pual Ruggiero, and Councilman Scott Manley were present. After that was established the room recited the Pledge of Allegiance and remained standing for a moment of silence. The presentation of the Life Saving Awards followed along with a hearty round of applause for all those involved.
Councilwoman Greene then took a moment to say, “I just want to thank all our town employees. Without them in the trenches every day, we would be a lacking town.” With the passing of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on the 9th of January, Councilwoman Greene encouraged everyone in attendance to, “Thank town policeman if you come across them” for their hard work and the risks they take.
The budget for 2019 is under the 2% tax cap and there were many position appointments. Mark Taylor was appointed attorney for the town and Elayne Gold was appointed as the labor attorney. The town’s financial advisor is Munistat Services Inc.
The appointment of Andrew Zarutskie as registrar of vital statistics and Lisa Ayers as deputy registrar took place. Andrew Zarutskie was also appointed as the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) officer, and Lisa Ayers was appointed as the Deputy Freedom of Information Law Officer.
David Dominick and Frank Galli were both reappointed as planning board members, a three year term ending December 31, 2021.
There is currently an opening for the position of town historian, and there is also one opening on the ethics board. To apply you can visit the town’s website or send a letter to Town Clerk Andrew Zarutskie indicating your interest.
At this point of the meeting there was a recap of the accomplishments of 2018. There was quite a long list, with some highlights being that: the town maintained a Moody’s rating of AA-2, an independent audit by RBT indicated no improper accounting practices, negotiations with NYC Environmental Protection resulted in receiving 1.8 million dollars for improvements to the Chadwick Lake filter plant, three professional grant writers were hired, 21 Hudson Plaza received a grant for $250,000, water Improvement grants received a total of $300,000, installed new water main for Colden Park, and received $125,000 grant and approved water main extension to Coronas, Leary, Little Britain, and Rock Cut Roads funded by NYSDEC.
Further accomplishments included hiring 6 full time police staff, broken down as: 2 part time Officers, 3 Detectives, and 1 K-9 officer trained in bomb detection. There were 3 sergeant promotions as well. The sale of the Gunsch property which the town has owned for many years placed it back on the tax rolls. A bus was donated to Orange Lake Fire District for practice and drills. Trolley service was provided for the Wall That Heals, in July. You can now view accident reports via the town’s home page. The town board received citation from both the VFW and American Legion which are currently hanging in the Public Meeting Room. They accepted a new town road, Madre DeCriosto Road. In May Councilman Presutti was inducted into the NYSNLA Hall of Fame of the Landscape Nursery Association.
“The Rockerfeller Christmas tree came from Newburgh, not Wallkill” clarified Piaquadio as he went on to say, “This town board will continue to strive to improve the quality of life for our residents and provide the necessary services, while keeping tax increases to a minimum.”
Councilman Ruggiero acted as an advocate for the animals pointing out, “Animal Control does exceptional work and I just want to get it out there that they run on donations.” Councilman Manley closed up the comment saying, “We have a great town here. I am very proud to be a part of this town and a member of this board, I’m just really proud of my community.”
The next workshop meeting will be held on Monday, January 28. Moving forward Andrew Zarutskie pointed out, “We are hoping to move to an electronic system for freedom of information requests in the next few months, which should expedite things.”