Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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First convictions for dumping in Newburgh

NEWBURGH – Three Newburgh residents were convicted in city court on Tuesday for violating the city’s new anti-dumping law, which was adopted by the city council last September.

Judge Paul Trachte accepted Assistant Corporation Counsel Timothy Kramer’s suggested $750 fine for each of the three and gave them one month to pay up.

The ordinance calls for a minimum fine of $500 for the first offense, but the city wanted to send a message.

The three men did not retain lawyers. They heard the charges and punishment and accepted their fines and the one-month payment deadline.

The city police were tipped off to the mattress dumpers at Renwick and Johnes streets by an anonymous caller.

“We want everyone to know that littering and dumping in Newburgh is now being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said City Councilwoman Genie Abrams, who represents the ward in which the dumping occurred.

The case set a precedent, said Councilwoman Karen Mejia, who worked with Acting Police Chief Daniel Cameron to find a test case. “We are serious about our new ordinance and we want the world to know that you cannot toss trash, garbage, tires, electronics, furniture, building materials, or anything else onto any public areas of our city.”

Mejia said the city will continue to prosecute “every single case, and with increased video surveillance, we will be catching more and more culprits.” She said it is “crazy to risk a minimum fine of $500 to dump a mattress on our streets, when persons can call the Public Works Department at 845-565-3297 to arrange a pickup for a small fee.

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