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Press Conference To Bring Attention To Funding Available To Help Low-Income Families Pay Their Water Bills

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Press Conference to Bring Awareness to Federally Funded Program that has Already Provided Millions of Dollars in Relief to Local Households, Additional Funding Still Available 

 Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Westchester County Executive George Latimer will be joined by local social service and nonprofit leaders for a press conference in recognition of “LIHWAP Awareness Day.” The press conference will take place on Thursday, January 12, at 2:00 PM at The Nyack Seaport (21 Burd St., Nyack, NY 10960).

 The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally funded program administered by New York State designed to help low-income households reduce the balances on their residential water and wastewater bills. LIHWAP Awareness Day is intended to bring greater awareness of this program to families in Westchester and Rockland Counties who may be eligible for relief. 

Hear from County Executives Day and Latimer and social service and nonprofit leaders about how this program has helped local families and how there’s more funding available. Proclamations will be presented at the press conference, and the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will be lit yellow – the color of hope – on January 12 in recognition of LIHWAP Awareness Day. 

 WHO:Rockland County Executive Ed Day 

        Westchester County Executive George Latimer

              Joan Silvestri, Commissioner, Rockland County, Dept. of Social Services 

              Leonard Towns, Commissioner, Westchester County, Dept. of Social Services 

              Tom Gabriel, President & CEO, United Way of Westchester and Putnam 

               Steve Papas, President & CEO, United Way of Rockland 

               Additional Speakers TBA 

  WHEN:Thursday, January 12, 2023 

         2:00 PM – 2:45 PM 

 WHERE:  The Nyack Seaport 

                   21 Burd St. 

                   Nyack, NY 10960

 Background

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally funded program administered by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).  

 The program can assist households who have past due bills for water and sewer services and can help prevent water and sewer services from being shut off. LIHWAP is a benefit based on the actual amount of water and/or sewer arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per water or sewer provider, or $5,000 if water and sewer services are combined, per applicant household. 

The OTDA has set up a secure Application Portal for households to apply for LIHWAP online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The program will expire on Dec. 31, 2023. Learn more here. 

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 “We Applaud Our Heroes” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Every year during February we present the Buffalo Soldiers Award to outstanding African-American veterans who live in Rockland County. A “Buffalo Soldier” is the nickname first given to members of African-American cavalry regiments of the U.S. Army who served in the western United States from 1867 to 1896, noted for their courage and discipline.

Last week I had the honor and privilege of presenting the 2024 Buffalo Soldiers Award to Army Veteran James Epps while Army Veteran Grady Anderson, Jr was presented with the Buffalo Soldiers Lifetime Achievement Award. 

James Epps joined the Army in 1953 and was later stationed in Germany, where he served as a machine gunner until September of 1956, when he was honorably discharged. James has continued to serve his community delivering meals to senior citizens with the Prince Hall Freemasonry Tappan Zee Lodge No. 79, which he has been a member of since 1975.

Grady Anderson, Jr. joined the army in 1959 and where he served overseas in Germany. Upon his discharge in 1963, he returned to Spring Valley. On top of a fulfilling career as an x-ray technician when he came home, he has been a member and Past Commander of Moscarella Post 199, Member of VVA 333, and Member and past Chef de Gare of the 40&8. He also served as Oratorical Chairperson for Rockland County American Legion for 8 years.

Not only is he a past recipient of our Buffalo Soldier Award in 1993 he was co-founder and historian of Buffalo Soldier Awardees and presents that history every year at the event. 

He has received several honors over the years for his tireless devotion to our community including his 60-year membership with First Baptist Church of Spring Valley, where he is also Deacon.

George Crouch, a WWII & Korean War Veteran, was also presented with an Unsung Hero Award by the Buffalo Soldiers of Rockland County. 

It takes a certain kind of person to put your own life on hold to put your country first, but both awardees did it without hesitation. 

Their sacrifice is why we get to enjoy the freedoms we have today.

For that, we are incredibly proud to add their names to the list of Rockland County Buffalo Soldiers recognized over the past 26 years. On behalf of the people of Rockland I thank them for their service to our country and county. 

I also thank the Buffalo Soldiers of Rockland County for granting myself and our Veterans Service Agency Director Susan Branam with Honorary Membership. We will not stop fighting for the wellbeing of veterans and soldiers, both past & present.

* This is a weekly article by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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Rockland Hero Jean Donald Mathieu Recieves NYS Senate Liberty Medal for Rescuing 8-Month Old From Fire

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – On Sunday, Senator Bill Weber recognized Jean Donald Mathieu with the New York State Liberty Medal – the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate upon a resident of New York State – for rescuing an 8-month-old baby (pictured below via News 12) and two adults from a fire in Spring Valley earlier this month.

Mathieu climbed a tree to get over the metal fence and ran straight toward the smoking building. He climbed a narrow fire escape ladder to the third floor and snatched the baby named Isabella out of harm’s way.
Isabella’s mother, Katia Locrete Pierre-Louis, said she is forever thankful for Mathieu’s heroic efforts.

Great job by Jean Donald Mathieu!

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