Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Monroe residents ask county to step in for proposed KJ annexation

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Albany/HV: Monroe residents ask county to step in for proposed KJ annexation
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In a proposal made last month, the Village of Kiryas Joel is looking to expand its land. They're asking the Town of Monroe for 500 acres of land, something that's angering residents in the area. A meeting was held by officials in Orange County to discuss the proposal. Our Jessica Chen reports.

GOSHEN, N.Y. -- It was standing room only as residents in Monroe listened in on the proposed annexation of the 500 acres by the Village of Kiryas Joel.

"The decision they make now is going to impact generations to come," said Village of Monroe Resident, Greg Gilligan.

He said he is worried the proposed 500 acre annexation by the Village of Kiryas Joel will have a negative impact on his community.

Myrna Kemnitz, the legislator who represents Monroe said whoever takes lead agency, which will either be the Town or the Village of Monroe, will have full power to approve the land takeover. The problem, she said, is the Town of Monroe Supervisor was elected by a KJ block vote.

"If you have the Village of Kiryas Joel leaders and Town of Monroe leaders right now come, it's not going to go anywhere but towards one direction," said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus.

Veronica Connolly who also lives in the Village of Monroe said she's afraid of the tax repercussions if the deal goes though.

"If they get that property and take that land out of our school taxes, I already pay $11,000 a year just in school taxes," said Connolly.

Officials said around $700,000 could potentially be shifted from the Monroe-Woodbury School District to the Village of Kiryas Joel.

Neuhaus said he now wants to call for an environmental impact report by the DEC. He said it's the only way the County can step in to prevent this annexation from happening.

"The sewer that Kiryas Joel uses is related to the County, so those have a huge impact and the annexation right now is something we really can't handle," said Neuhaus.

TWC News reached out to the Town of Monroe and the Village of Kiryas Joel for a comment, but our calls have not yet been returned.

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