Friday, May 14, 2010

Village might annex NYMA 

Village officials are entertaining the idea of annexing the 120-acre New York Military Academy.

Trustee Douglas Vatter said a resident suggested it might be a good way to protect the character of the village should the site be developed in the future.

NYMA's mailing address is Cornwall-on-Hudson, but it's actually located in the Town of Cornwall.

There's been concern among village and town residents as to what would happen to the site if NYMA closes for good. NYMA said it is suspending operations after the current school year.

While NYMA says it is not for sale, there have been reports of unsolicited potential buyers showing up on campus, including some described as appearing to represent either the Village of Kiryas Joel or some other Hasidic entity.

Village officials are choosing their words carefully, but Vatter said, "We'd like to be able to get control over (the site)."

Vatter said a separate village can't be established inside an existing one. Also, the village could rezone the site if it annexed it. It's currently zoned to allow one- and two-family homes per lot, and higher-density residential development under certain conditions.

State law would require both the town and NYMA to consent to the change. Cornwall Supervisor Kevin Quigley said he hasn't been approached about the idea yet.

NYMA Superintendent Capt. Robert Watts said he understands the concerns of residents, but "NYMA is still an ongoing concern. We're critical, but ongoing. All this talk about annexing property or changing zoning is inappropriate. We have not closed the school. We have not put the school up for sale."

Mayor Joe Gross said it will take a lot of research before the village knows if it wants to annex NYMA.


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