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Harrison Issues 2013 State Of The Town Address

Mayor Ron Belmont said there were many positive changes in Harrison over the past year, but the town also faced several challenges.
Mayor Ron Belmont said there were many positive changes in Harrison over the past year, but the town also faced several challenges. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice File Photo

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Hurricane Sandy was the biggest challenge Harrison faced in a year that also included many positive changes, Mayor Ron Belmont said in the annual State of the Town Address, which was released Tuesday.

"The magnitude of this storm was unprecedented and most Harrison residents were affected. The response of Town personnel was beyond compare and all of Harrison’s emergency responders did an outstanding job," Belmont said. He encouraged residents to sign up for the town's notification system in the event of another emergency.

The accomplishments Belmont highlighted include the town's budget, which came in under the state-mandated two percent Tax Levy Cap.

"I believe the Town Board has acted responsibly in developing strategies and cost saving measures that will benefit our entire community," Belmont said. "In an effort to reduce spending, the Town Board commissioned a study to compare the municipal expenses of our neighboring municipalities and as a measure to reduce our own employee related expenditures."

Belmont praised the Town Clerk's office for redistributing its efforts and reducing antiquated practices to increase productivity.

"Clerk’s Office saw increased revenues by 29.6 percent without raising fees and reduced their operating expenses in the 2013 budget, while increasing services," he said. He also praised the town's new website.

The Engineering Department accomplished several projects, Belmont said. Among these are installing new pumps and electrical equipment at the Brae Burn pump station, generating conceptual designs for the Halstead Avenue Streetscape and for Ma Riis Park, and expanding the town's pavement management program. The Department of Public Works purchased a new street sweeper and a truck to clear debris from catch basins and sewers. The DPW also repaired several sidewalks around town.

The Harrison Town Court had its busiest year on record, handling 11,000 traffic, civil and criminal cases. The Harrison Police Department increased school security following the Newtown shootings, and reinstated the school resource officer at the high school and middle school. The town is also moving forward with an emergency operations center.

Click here to see the full 2013 State of the Town Address.

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