CUPON News

Welcome to CUPON of Greater Nanuet. Our organization was born out of love for our community and town. We are conscientious citizens dedicated to upholding the spirit and character of Nanuet, NY.  Nanuet is a town like no other in Rockland County.  Nanuet’s rural-suburban quality and natural beauty are something we intend to preserve.

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Update from Supervisor George Hoehmann including details about the Town Board’s decision to close Congers Lake Memorial Park and walkway effective tomorrow.This is a long but critically important post updating all of our residents.

Earlier today, the five Town Supervisors, along with our police chiefs and town attorneys were asked to attend a conference call with senior officials from New York State Government. These included Beth Carey, Counsel to Governor Cuomo, Jeremy Shockett, Deputy Commissioner of New York State for Public Safety, Brad Hutton, Deputy Commissioner of the New York Department of Health, Representatives from several other departments including the New York State Police and Department of Criminal Justice Services, Assemblyman Zebrowski, Senator Carlucci and Chairman of the Rockland County Legislature. The purpose of the call was to clarify that there be no ambiguity on enforcement of the Governor's Executive Orders for the Town Police Departments and to ask questions about any other issues important to the Towns and our residents.

Our Police Chiefs and Town Attorneys were afforded the opportunity to ask questions and seek specific guidance on enforcement, what charges can be brought under both civil and criminal codes. Specific guidance was given on Executive Order 202.10 that bans gatherings as "non essential". We were informed that the District Attorney Thomas Walsh has agreed to prosecute if charges are brought in the event of non-compliance and that the Town Police Departments are empowered to enforce the rules charging under both civil and criminal codes. The statutes were outlined and discussed, our town attorneys and police chiefs from all five towns asked questions. It is clear if people violate the rules we can and will enforce the executive orders.

Importantly, on the call additional information was offered and issues clarified on the reporting of the numbers of positive COVID-19 tests. As of this afternoon, 5,326 people have tested positive in Rockland County. We were informed that these are the numbers in real time found in the on line reporting system. It was offered that the State was working closely with Rockland County to clear up any discrepancy there may be in the numbers.

We specifically asked about a "Field Hospital" for Rockland County and were told that the State is managing this via the regional census of the hospital networks. RCC has been identified as the location if this is needed and the State will work directly with the hospitals and the County Health Department to bring it on line. We were assured that capacity exists within our local hospitals currently--something that both Dr, Geller of Nyack and Dr. Leahy of Good Samaritan confirmed to several of the Supervisors today. What is needed now are extra nurses, extra ventilators and supplies for the added capacity being put in place. A daily census of the entire hospital network in the region is taken and reviewed and resources shifted as needed. We stressed that we support the call for the field hospital at RCC and other resources for Rockland. Individual Supervisors made a number of requests and sought additional information.

In addition. in consultation with the Town Board I have ordered that effective Monday, April 6th at 12:00PM, that Congers Lake walkway and Boardwalks as well as the Dog Park be closed. It will be closed for the expected Apex of this event through Monday, April 20th. I understand that this is a significant step but it is necessary. Earlier today, I had the Clarkstown Police Department take drone footage of the Lake. We saw some gathering along the pathways despite the requests to social distance.It is just too much of a risk, and given that hundreds are on the walkway at any given time it is a risk I and the entire Town Board cannot take. I have already instructed town staff to work to close all seven access points, to barricade all parking areas and have asked our Highway Superintendent Bob Milone to make signage announcing the closure and have these posted at every entrance. The police will be sending a reverse 911 call announcing this on Monday and messages boards will be put out announcing the closure.

On behalf of the residents of Clarkstown, I also requested during the aforementioned call that the State Parks Commission close Rockland Lake State Park for the next two weeks. I requested this as it draws many visitors to the Town. I was informed that the request would be reviewed. I am sending a formal request on Monday to the Governor's Office.

As of Tuesday nearly 2% of Rockland population will have tested positive. Virtually every town in Rockland will have eclipsed the 1% mark and will have numbers significantly higher in parts of all five towns. While most are following the rules some are not. All five towns have the authority to enforce the rules and I expect will do so. I certainly will in Clarkstown and I ask everyone to adhere to the rules and please stay home. Although. these are challenging times, I am confident that together we will get through this and life hopefully will soon return to an air of normalcy.
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As the COVID-19 crisis continues we must be aggressive in dong whatever we can in stopping and containing the spread of the virus. I am supportive of any and all strategies that our medical professionals are advising to combat the spread. I support the recent call for more aggressive action made by the County to the State to better serve Rockland. The fact that our two local hospitals have been ordered to double capacity and are doing so is not enough, we need a field hospital. I have been on daily regional conference calls and listened with amazement as the discussion of field hospital for Rockland has seemingly dropped out of the conversation. We need a field hospital to save lives and back up the exceptional work that Dr. Mark Geller and staff at Montefiore Nyack and Dr. Mary Leahy and staff at Good Samaritan Hospital Suffern, NY are doing--and we need supplies a lot more of them! Finally, we need the ability to enforce against non compliance when people ignore the rules.

To that end, I and all Supervisors in Rockland County, received a phone call from the Governor's Office last evening followed by an email announcing a task force and new guidance that clears up ambiguity and takes the gloves off for enforcement of non compliance with the executive order. This enables local police the authority to enforce social distancing including the ability to charge violators criminally. This is exactly what the Town Supervisors have been asking for weeks. Further, a task force has been announced that for Rockland includes includes Sheriff Louis Falco and District Attorney Tom Walsh and a designee from State Government law enforcement for assistance. It empowers local police departments with specific guidance on crimes that can now be charged for non compliance. This has been long overdue and now puts teeth into the law and enables local police the ability to charge under the Executive Order.

In Clarkstown here is how we have and been and are enforcing the rules. We are doing this by using the Building and Code Enforcement officers during normal business hours backed up by the Clarkstown Police Department. If you see a violation such as a business operating illegally, or a gathering of more than fifty people, during normal business hours Monday-Friday call the building department at 639-2100 or my office at 639-2050 and report it or use our 311 application. We will send out staff to address it immediately. On the weekends and evenings call the Clarkstown Police Department at 639-5800 and they will address it. If people fail to disperse they can now be charged criminally.

As the weather warms and the numbers continue to spike please everyone engage in social distancing. If you are out walking stay six feet apart, wear a mask or a scarf. We have now made Congers Lake Walkway effective today one way only. When you enter at any location you must go to the right and proceed in that direction only. This will further lessen potential for contact and better enforce social distancing. We have posted new signage, we have barricaded all benches on the walkway and have staff patrolling it daily who will ask people to separate. We have done this in an effort to allow people a venue to exercise as all gyms, basketball courts, playgrounds and recreation centers are closed. If the new rules are not followed we will consider closing this venue also. We must do everything we can to protect one another. We are all in this together.
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Like so many of us, life is a series of meetings via conference call. Came into the office today Sunday--nobody here so its great social distancing and participated in a number of conference calls. Every day around 3:00PM I am on a call getting an update from the Governors Office for the Lower Hudson Valley. Immediately after that call the five town Supervisors get on call, share notes, ideas and resources. The police chiefs and now representatives from the Legislature are now joining the call. These calls have been extremely helpful in attacking the issue at hand as information and knowledge help us to prepare for all contingencies.

The call today was sobering because the numbers are rising across the State and in Rockland. The numbers for the county are likely outdated and I expect that they are a good bit higher than the 2,209 positive cases reported on the 3:00PM call by the Governors Office. One bit of good news reported is that 2,572 people have been discharged from hospitals across New York State and are recovering from COVID-19.

On Monday, we will hold another teletown hall meeting again from 12:00-1:00PM and broadcast it via Facebook live.I will offer whatever information I can as an update at that time and answer any questions folks have.To join the call Monday you can call in (917)522-0641 at 12:00 Noon.

As always if folks are looking for information check our website call my office at 639-2050 or via email at g.hoehmann@clarkstown.org or my cell phone at (845)608-2579. Everyone, please be safe, stay home if you can, practice good social distancing and look in on elderly neighbors via telephone to make sure they are OK..

Lastly, I am very proud of the fact that we have now completed three rounds of calls to our list of seniors. We have over 100 volunteers calling almost 2,000 seniors twice a week. I will post on that separately as volunteers are shopping, picking up medications and just calling seniors who are home to make sure they are OK. This is why our community is so great--no shortage of people looking to help and look out for one another.
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