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February 2018

Left to right: New Councilman/Trustee Frank Gordon; Councilman/Trustee Stephen Malfitano; Mayor Ronald Belmont; Councilman/Trustee Fred Sciliano; Councilman/Trustee Richard Dionisio.

Two Points of Contention at Town/Village Board Meeting

By Stephen E. Lipken


There were two strong points of contention exhibited at the Thursday, January 25th Harrison Town/Village Board meeting.


First, resident Emil Toso contended that there was an improperly zoned parking lot, running from Halstead Avenue down to Fremont Street at the side of his home. “A year ago, the Planning Board allowed an 18-unit apartment house which was built on 241-247 Halstead Avenue with a parking lot at its rear running down to Fremont Street.  It has 5-feet high walls, all brick, enclosed dumpsters and landscape screening,” Toso said.


“However, there are four stores that should have been demolished but are fully rented again,” Toso averred.  “They front an aesthetically unpleasing parking lot (Toso’s lot running from Halstead down to Fremont Street) having unsightly dumpsters with logos and garbage pickups at 4:00 a.m.


“There is no screening and is ugly to the tenants and neighbors…The Building Inspector considers it a commercial lot, but I believe that it has no approval, no permit, Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and is really in a residential area.”


Acknowledging that 4:00 a.m. refuse pickups are illegal, Trustee Fred Sciliano stated to Toso that Building Inspector Rocco Germani had told Emil that it was a legal lot.

Mayor Ron Belmont offered to make an appointment with Toso to discuss it further.

Next, former Mayor Joan Walsh objected to a planned permanent security system in the Lobby.  “I have worked in this building since 1975.  It is incompatible that we have to go through this and have our bags searched,” Walsh exclaimed.


“Other municipalities have security checkpoints.  Our security has lagged behind.  We should be commended for being proactive,” Village Attorney Jonathan D.  Kraut replied.


In other Town/Village business, Police Chief Michael Olsey requested approval for an agreement between the Town and New York State Department of Transportation for a signal upgrade at the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Heineman Place with a $1,900 compensation from NYSDOT,  as well as installing two stop signs on West Street; two stop signs on Ellsworth Avenue at the intersection of West Street (North Bound) and Palma Drive; intersection of West Street (South Bound)  and Century Trail; intersection of Ellsworth Avenue and Bradford Street (North and South Bound).