Stewart Manor Gets Back To Business

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With last month’s elections fading in the rearview mirror, the trustees for the Village of Stewart Manor convened for their first public meeting since the votes were tallied. Along with addressing the usual litany of resolutions regarding the village, the meeting also featured an installation ceremony during which time trustees Bill Grogan and Mary Carole Schafenberg were sworn in.

On March 19, Grogan received 222 votes while Schafenberg compiled 191 votes in the village election, resulting in the duos being re-elected to their trustee positions. The installation ceremony kicked off the evening as the pair of trustees took their oaths followed by a few quick congratulatory photographs.

This meeting went relatively smoothly as Mayor Gerard Tangredi read off the majority of the resolutions to be approved by the Board of Trustees. First off was the approval of annual appointments. With one minor obstacle in the way, Grogan was vocal as he was opposed to the changing of the attorney for the Zoning Board of Appeals.

“Until I get a better explanation on why the change was required and what the benefits will be for the village,” said Grogan, “I’m opposed to this switch.”

Following a motion being made to table this issue, a resolution to set the meeting dates for the 2015-16 fiscal year. They will now take place the first Tuesday of every month, unless otherwise indicated. If a special meeting is required, board members will be notified. The resolutions towards approval of claims was also approved by the board.

Other resolutions dealt with at the meeting included the required attendance at schools and conferences by certain municipal officers and one of designated depositories, where all money collected by the town clerk would be deposited to Chase Bank, TD Bank and HSBC.

There was a resolution to make additional VFBL benefit coverage available for Stewart Manor volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. All motions for authorizing abstract and budget transfers and related expenses were approved. Some of the increase in the latter was due to the harsh winter, where there was more than normal snow removal and pothole repair. Improvements were made with the installations of new LED street lights.

The board also voted to replace the liner in the town pool, authorize the making of improvements to village streets signs and the approval of certain seasonal hirings for the town pool.

Other issues were discussed such as seeking permission for block parties and sidewalk repair. Grogan read the report from the fire department secretary stating that in the month of March, there were 21 EMS responses, two fire calls and three motor vehicle accidents. During the month, the fire department nominated a chief and an assistant chief for the upcoming elections, which took place on April 9. There have also been issues with recruiting new volunteers for the fire department.

“It’s becoming a serious problem with recruiting,” said Grogan. “We are not replacing our volunteers. The attrition rate is still happening and younger people are moving out of the village.”

A financial report was read and the village budget continues to perform well with the February village report showing the court collected more than $13,000 in fines. Next year’s budget will be presented at the April 14 Stewart Manor Board of Trustees meeting.

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