From Matt Szpindor of Patterson

8/2/04

Dear Sir:

After reading your article “Lake Carmel firefighters may need new truck”
(The Journal News, 8/27/04), I felt compelled to write in order to clear up
some misconceptions.

First, while the article mentions the concerns of neighbors and the local
“ tree-hugging” faction over traffic, noise and “other harms,” it fails to
mention an equally important point. The proposed Patterson Crossing
shopping center will add an estimated $750,000 annually in property taxes to
the Carmel Central School District, and will also add hundreds of thousands
of dollars per annum in sales tax revenue to Putnam County and the Town of
Patterson, monies that are urgently needed to reduce the ever-increasing tax
burden on local residents. It will also afford local residents the ability
to shop in Putnam County, instead of spending our sales dollars elsewhere.

Second, I don’t understand why Kent and the Lake Carmel Fire Department feel
that they need a new 75-foot ladder truck to protect 8 storm-water retention
ponds and a driveway, which are the only parts of the proposed shopping
center that are actually in the Town of Kent. Hopefully, developer Paul
Camarda will easily see through Kent Supervisor William Tulipane’s and Lake
Carmel Fire Chief Richard Hauth’s play for a “free ride.” Mr. Camarda and
his firm would be much better off investing in the fire department in whose
district the development actually lies, as opposed to giving a hand-out to
the Lake Carmel Fire Dept., which doesn’t even protect the shopping center.
The article fails also to mention that not only does the Patterson Fire
Department already have a 100-foot tower ladder, but that it also has
another firehouse on Bullet Hole Road, which is much closer to the proposed
site than Patterson’s Route 311 firehouse listed in the article. Perhaps
Patterson’s Bullet Hole Road firehouse would be a much better spot in which
to locate a new ladder truck.

Finally, the article states that the 75-foot “Quint” fire apparatus sought
by Lake Carmel “refers to the apparatus’ five functions: pumper, ladder
truck, rescue truck, aerial truck, and personnel transporter.” Supervisor
Tulipane and Fire Chief Hauth would be wise to learn first what a “quint”
really is, before asking for such an expensive gift. A “ladder truck” and
an “aerial truck” are the same thing, and all fire apparatus transport
personnel. A “quint” is defined as a fire apparatus that has a pump, hose,
water tank, complement of portable ladders and an aerial ladder or platform.
As a retired New York City Firefighter, I would think that Supervisor
Tulipane would have known this, or maybe he just got bad information from
Chief Hauth.

Matt Szpindor
Patterson resident
Current FDNY Firefighter


My response:

>Second, I don't understand why Kent and the Lake Carmel Fire Department feel
>that they need a new 75-foot ladder truck to protect 8 storm-water retention
>ponds and a driveway, which are the only parts of the proposed shopping
>center that are actually in the Town of Kent.

Matthew, a couple of points:

1) As far as I can tell, the entrance to the proposed development lies
within the Lake Carmel Fire District and therefore, it's my guess, that
protection for the development would fall within their baliwick. Before I
publish this to the "Forum" section of townofkent.org would you like to
check this out or, let go as it is?

You may be right about who will provide emergency services, but it seems an
awfully long drive from Bullet Hole Road to the entrance of the Patterson
Crossing as opposed to coming in from Route 52 via Route 311.

2) This note came to me as the webmaster of townofkent.org since Bil
Tulipnae does not have an email address here. This domain has no connection
with the Town of Kent other than being a citizen run service to carry news
and events the town's website does not carry.

Though I have an old email for Bil and do not know his current email
address, (and do not feel confident in sharing that for privacy reasons I
am sure you can agree with) the fax number for the Town admin offices is:
225-5130 and he can be reached there.

3) The $750,000 a year that this proposed development would add to the
Carmel school district budget needs to be put into perspective. This past
year alone the district increase was more than $4 million dollars. If the
development were up and running full time and generating the expected
revenue you would not have seen a net savings in your property tax bill,
but only a lesser increase of a matter of a few dollars that would be lost
in the general, yearly increase.

However, in reality, that money will not come all at one time but over a
period of years, adding perhaps only a few thousand dollars each year into
the district fund. In fact, the yearly contribution would be so small that
you would probably not even notice.

4) As for monies going to county coffers the solution is easy: if the
County were to listen to the populace and stop building development that
required costly tax based upkeep and maintenance, they would not need the
tax revenues from new development to pay for the one just built, which is
how it works. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be broken as does the
county's reliance on sales tax revenues for its budget. Revenue based
income is a shaky proposition that will work only so long as the local
economy is good. Any fluctuation in the local economic picture will upset
county revenues to a much greater extent than property taxes or other, more
secure, revenue sources. In other words, if you want county services you
need to reach into your own pocket to pay for them and not depend wholly on
the hope that others, from out of the area, will subsidize them.

Moreover, the money isn't the issue of why my community stands so
steadfastly against this development : it's a matter of quality of life for
those who live here, within earshot and sight of it and whose lives will be
adversely affected. Build an office park of low slung, architecturally
designed buildings, provide quality white collar jobs, affordable housing
for the working class, build a community that becomes an integral part of
the existing community and you'll see the opposition fade away rather quickly.

If it's cheap labor you need and acres of asphalt, I am sure your town can
find more appropriate locations closer to your population centers in which
to build. Perhaps near your home in the village center, where development
actually belongs?

I do remember, not so many years ago, a quality of life questionnaire was
sent to Patterson residents and the results showed an overwhelming number
of residents did not want any additional large scale commercial development
in your town. Thus, proposing this development away from the center of
Patterson and on the border of a neighboring town is not only disingenuous
to your neighbors, but apparently also a negating of the public will.

In the end my advice is this: find a developer to build needed and
necessary business, housing, et.al. in and around and within walking
distance of your village center, thus offering yourself and residents the
tax advantages as well as commercial and residential choices you feel are
necessary for Patterson.

I will await your decision on posting your letter.

All my best,

Jeff Green


Reply from Matt, August 3. 2004

As far as the emergency response to the proposed shopping center, I spoke with a ranking official at the Patterson Fire Department, and he confirmed what my letter stated. If the buidlings lie within the boundaries of the Town of Patterson and the Patterson Fire District, the responsibility for providing fire and EMS response also falls on the Patterson Fire Department. It doesn't matter where the entrance lies; it matters where the buildings are physically located. The building owner(s) will pay fire tax to the Patterson Fire Department. There are other examples of this, including the Concord Rd area which lies adjacent to the proposed site. The access to this road is through Lake Carmel via Echo Rd, however it is Patterson Fire Dept.'s jurisdiction. He mentioned that there is a joint response set up between the two districts for this area, but to my knowledge, there have been no such discussions about a similar arrangement for Patterson Crossing. Like I said before, I think it's both premature and out of line for Lake Carmel Fire Dept and the Town of Kent to circumvent normal lines of communication and solicit donations from the developer for buildings that are not even in their town. Perhaps they should have involved the Town of Patterson and the Patterson Fire Department before they looked to "pork-barrel" this development, just so that they could get a new ladder truck.

Feel free to post the letter as is, and please pass it on to Supervisor Tulipane also.

Thanks.

Matt Szpindor



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