At Tuesday night's meeting, the Rockland County Legislature against Clarkstown for closing a Samuel Road in Nanuet without proper approval from the county's superintendent of highways. Legislator Frank Sparaco (R-Valley Cottage) voted against it and Legislator Jobson was absent.
In response to this, letters have been submitted by
- Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack
- Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan
- Harold Straut Chairman of the Nanuet Fire District
- Christopher Dunlavey, Captain of the Nanuet Community Ambulance Corps
- Anthony Sharan, Ramapo Superintendent of Highways.
The full letters are attached to this article as well.
"On behalf of our mutual residents of the Town of Clarkstown, I respectfully request that our Clarkstown Legislators sponsor a new resolution rescinding the one which was passed suing the Town at your next Legislative meeting on Tuesday September 4," said Gromack. "I don't know if I am more shocked or disappointed that prior to taking this vote against our residents in the County Legislature you did not think it was important to call me to learn the background and the truth as to why the Town reverted this road to its former dead end status, which was for the safety of our residents."
Clarkstown closed the road after pleaded with the Clarkstown Town Board to put a stop to the speeders driving through their Nanuet neighborhood. the excessive speed and volume of vehicles puts their children and them at risk each day.
"I don't think there has ever been a time in my 28 years as a public official that I never returned a call or refused to hold a meeting at the request of another elected official to discuss or clarify an issue, especially affecting the safety of our mutual residents," said Gromack. "What in the world were you (the legislators) thinking that night?"
The legislature’s resolution also questions why the 170 plus-member Clarkstown Police Department cannot control speeding on a town street without closing it off to residents.
"The Clarkstown Police Department takes great pride in our vehicle and traffic enforcement policies and procedures," said Sullivan. "We have been working at the bequest of the residents of Newport Drive for the last two years on this issue ... However, our efforts have also led us to the inescapable conclusion that the real problem on Newport Drive is not speeding vehicles but the volume of traffic."
"I would also like to note, the Rockland County Legislature press release of August 8th takes a negative swipe at the men and women of the Clarkstown Police Department. For the record, the job they do protecting the residents of the Town of Clarkstown is second to none and I find those remarks insulting to the professionalism and integrity of our Police Department," said Gromack.
In response to concerns from area residents and emergency units about the response time with the road closure, a permanent, but movable gate has been installed as off Aug. 9 replacing the plastic barrier.
"I also want to address the issue that this move presents an unacceptable danger to the residents regarding emergency service response. A gate that can readily be opened and moved out of the way poses no serious response issue for the police department," said Sullivan. "The permanent gate can be easily opened by all emergency personnel and will reduce the volume of traffic for both neighborhoods. I believe this solution should be agreeable to both residents of Chestnut ridge and the Newport Drive neighborhood thus negating any legal action by the Rockland County Legislature."
Straut added that the Nanuet Fire District has no objections with the installed metal gate; keys to the gate are being distributed to emergency personnel.
"I have spoken with Chief Anthony Knapp regarding any mutual aid calls to the South Spring Valley Fire District who serves Chestnut Ridge as our district line coincides with the municipal boundary. Our drivers have already been instructed to use Pascack Road for routine access if necessary," he said.
"The placement of this barricade/ crash gate—that is intended to divert passing motorists from travailing down Samuel Road and onto Newport Drive as a "short cut" to avoid the traffic on South Pascack roa—will not affect our daily operation, nor will the placement of this barricade/ crash gate hinder the response of emergency vehicles," said Dunlavey.
Sharan added that his department deals with a similar road closure—a gate in the Village of Montebello (Viola Road and Canterbury Lane). A photo of this gate is attached to the article.
"The Town of Ramapo put our lock plus a Fire Department lock on the chain. So far there have not been any issues during snow removal operations," he said.
Other Nanuet residents are In May, Nanuet Resident Nicholas Miller sent a petition to Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack with from Nanuet residents of Duryea Lane, Duryea Place, Bradl Lane, Clearwater Court and Vincent Street.