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Astorino Vetoes Pool Repairs at Mt. Lakes Camp

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- On July 14, The Daily North Salem reported that the County Board of Legislators had approved an allocation of funds for repairs and improvements to Mountain Lakes Park , primarily in the pool area. The bill cited a $400,000 bond and $300,000 allotment from the Capital Budget. The bill was then sent to County Executive Robert Astorino for endorsement.

Four days later, Astorino vetoed the bill. In a message to the board, Astorino wrote, “Why would the county spend $700,000 of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a pool that is up and running at a time of such fiscal uncertainty and concern?”

On July 20, Legislator Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) responded in a press release. “County residents deserve safe parks and pools, not cheap election year politics,” he said. “The Town of North Salem, the smallest town in Westchester, should not have to be paying year after year to fix a county pool.”

Although Mountain Lakes Park is a county-owned facility, North Salem “has an inter-municipal agreement with the county,” North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas said. “In it, the town has the use of the camp area for five years and we’re supposed to maintain the things we use.” The agreement has been renewed at five-year intervals, beginning about 20 years ago.

In a March letter to Astorino, Lucas explained that, “Last year the town spent about $200,000 running the six-week camp, which had 209 campers and 106 employees. Only 90 of the campers were from North Salem.”

He added, “We enjoy offering this summer camp to many of our neighboring towns; however, whether or not we break even is based on the amount of work we need to do to fix the county facilities each year.”

Harckham stated in a press release that, “It is expected that the [legislature] will create a new bill in committee with the stand-alone $400,000 bond for pool repairs, pass the legislation and wait.” If Astorino again vetoes the funding, "[we’ll] override the veto.”

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