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Orangetown Board Votes Down Highway Work on Rockleigh Roads

The Orangetown Council denied a request for the highway department to chip seal three roads in Rockleigh, NJ by a vote of 3-2.

Orangetown Highway Superintendent James Dean brought a proposal before the town board to allow his department to chip seal three streets in Rockleigh, NJ.

Though the town would technically make no profit from the work, it would bring in over $7,000 in labor costs without disrupting the department's schedule of work in Orangetown.

Orangetown resident Eileen Larkin spoke out against the proposal, claiming that Rockleigh has not been a good neighbor. 

"For maybe the second time this century, I'm agreeing with Mrs. Larkin," said Councilman Denis Troy, smiling as he made reference to multiple disagreements they have had at town board meetings. "I don't consider Rockleigh a good neighbor."

Town Board members also raised concerns about liability and a lack of benefit for the town from the work. Councilmen Troy, Tom Diviny and Tom Morr all voted against the proposal, defeating it 3-2.

"If something happens, we're going to get drawn into it," Diviny said. 

Larkin also claimed that the roads are private roads, in which case the town would not do the work, but Dean confirmed that they are Borough of Rockleigh roads.

"To add to days work there, it's not a big burden on our schedule," Dean said. "If I didn't think we could fit it in without impacting our programs, we wouldn't do it. The reason it's here (before the town board) is we wouldn't do any work for any other municipal entity unless the board directs us to do it. 

"For any labor work, we would be getting additional income, which then goes to surplus. That would be around $7,000 or $7,500."

That is why Supervisor Andy Stewart argued for the proposal.

"I would be hesitant to leave money on the table just because the neighbors seem a little snooty," Stewart said.

"If we only break even, I'm absolutely opposed to it," said Councilman Paul Valentine, the other yes vote. "With money coming into our fund balance, I'm more comfortable with it." 

That was the only measure on the board's agenda that did not receive unanimous approval Tuesday. The Orangetown Council approved aid to the Orangetown Rotary for its annual tennis tournament Oct. 6-7, the installation of a fire hydrant on Railroad Ave. in Pearl River between East Washington Ave. and East Central Ave and the Orangetown Justice Court's application for a grant from the New York State Justice Assistance Program for $8,625 to be used on computers and scanning equipment.

Check back with Patch for more from Tuesday's meeting.  

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