County Executive Scott Vanderhoef will give his last State of the County address Tuesday night. Expect some Rebuild Hi-Tor supporters in their shirts and holding signs.
Discussions have seem to have stalled for the park land that Rebuild Hi-Tor wants to use for its future shelter.
Because of the slow progress in the negotiations with the county, Fundraising Chair Don Franchino called out the county on not allowing this to move forward. However, Vanderhoef's office say that they have been collaborating, but need to protect park land.
Rebuild Hi-Tor sent out a notice asking residents to join them Tuesday night as they fight for the proposed shelter's land request.
"Come out (Tuesday) night and say "No!" to County Executive Scott Vanderhoef and the Rockland County Legislature on their denial of the land request to build our new shelter," said Rebuild Hi-Tor. "Let your voice be heard, that Rockland’s homeless pets deserve better. Attend County Executive Vanderhoef’s final State of the County address at 6:30 p.m. (Tuesday) night at the Rockland County Office Building, 11 New Hempstead Road in New City. Wear your Rebuild t-shirts and bring your best signs. We will not take this lying down."
The latest Rebuild Hi-Tor newsletter can be found here. Their next community meeting, which is open to the public is meeting open to the public is Wednesday March 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m at Clarkstown Town Hall. This is an open meeting to discuss the progress of rebuilding the Hi Tor Animal Shelter and Adoption Center.
In response to the county’s statement on needing to protect park land, Franchino gave an analogy using Yankee Stadium.
“Seven years ago the Yankee organization chose to build a new stadium. The construction of this stadium would require the alienation of developed parkland in Macomb’s Dam Park. The city agreed and allowed this parkland to be swapped for parks constructed on top of parking garages and on separate parcels,” said Franchino.
“Fast forward to 2013. Hi Tor Animal Shelter seeks 1 ½ acre of parkland in front of existing shelter. County owned swampland behind the shelter could be exchanged for the land in front of the shelter. This has been proposed and continuously rejected by Allan Beers and his team of “dedicated professionals”. Their findings have been supported by County Exec Scott Vanderhoef and Chairwoman of the county legislature Harriet Cornell.”
Franchino added that the construction of Yankee Stadium was fast tracked by Mayor Bloomberg, Bronx borough president adolfo carrion and state legislators and that the only support for alienation of park land for Hi-Tor comes from state assemblyman Ken Zebrowski.
“Ed Day got it right when he stated this is a “win-win” for the citizens of Rockland County. A new shelter at no cost to taxpayers, the existing shelter would be renovated at no cost to taxpayers, and the new shelter would provide educational and volunteer benefit to the students of Rockland County. The land is still owned by the county taxpayers along with a new building. I don't understand the opposition of county leadership.”
“There must a hidden agenda I am not aware of. The concept of free vs spend and tax is evident since Rockland County is $90 million in debt and heading deeper into fiscal insolvency. The proposal to bond this and future debt is the equivalent of applying for a new credit card. We are not eliminating debt just adding interest until our leaders figure a way to tax the public.”
“The new shelter would provide much needed space to rehabilitate rescued animals and prepare them for a second chance in a forever home. I don't think I have to make a case for a new shelter. The public wholeheartedly supports our efforts. We cannot move forward without land to build the shelter. I am requesting not only financial donations from the public but I need you to contact the two elected officials that control the future of Hi Tor and the abandoned, abused, malnourished animals in Rockland County:”
COUNTY EXEC SCOTT VANDERHOEF—845-638-5122
CHAIRWOMAN HARIET CORNELL---845-638-5269