County officials, state lawmakers say intervention needed after shoddy inspections at private schools.
“New York state officials are expected to hand down an order calling on the town to immediately enforce fire and zoning codes in buildings and schools littered with violations, or face a state takeover.
Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, said the Department of state’s Division of Building Standards and Codes is preparing to issue an order that Ramapo’s housing department take corrective action to enforce safety and fire codes.
“This is the first step in finally restoring some law and order in this town,” Zebrowski said Friday. “Over the past several years, we’ve been documenting instance after instance where the building, fire and zoning codes have been completely ignored.”
Zebrowski said that he is calling for an “abbreviated time frame of compliance” for Ramapo of 10 day. The assemblyman added he had little faith in the town’s ability to comply with order, and called for either the state or Rockland County to take over Ramapo’s building department as soon as possible.
Town officials, Zebrowski said, “dangerously turn a blind eye to obvious life-threatening conditions.”
The state’s order is expected to be issued late Friday or Monday.
At the training center, Zebrowski also called for state officials to take over the Ramapo and Spring Valley building departments or give Rockland County the authority to do so. He said the state has warned those municipalities about that possibility, and that it was crucial to protect the safety of students who are being taught in unsafe conditions.
“These are conditions that are asking for a tragedy to happen. I’ve had fruitful conversations with the state. We’re hoping that (action) will be (taken) rather immediately,” said Zebrowski, who was joined by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, and state Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown.”
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