Saturday, November 02, 2013

Kiryas Joel Gets Booted From Monroe Library 

A brouhaha over library services has erupted north of these parts in the Town of Monroe over Kiryas Joel’s relationship to the Monroe Free Library — and the extended Ramapo-Catskill Library System which serves Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, and southern Ulster counties.

MonroeLibraryAs first reported by The Photo-News’ Nancy Kriz, the New York State Board of Regents “approved an amendment to the Monroe Free Library’s charter which now excludes the Village of Kiryas Joel from its service area.”

The bone of contention between the library and village relates to years-long non-payment of taxes for library services rendered. According to Monroe Library Board of Trustees President Sandra Keltai, Kiryas Joel has not paid library taxes since 2005, when the village negotiated a tax-exempt status so that it could build its own library — which was never done.

Kriz reported that an amendment to the Monroe Free Library’s charter means residents of Kiryas Joel loose “ borrowing privileges at the Monroe library or any other public library in the Ramapo-Catskill Library System.” The Monroe Free Library currently serves residents in the Town of Monroe. The new charter would articulate the library’s service area as ”coterminous with the Town of Monroe, including only the Villages of Monroe and Harriman.”

Kiryas Joel is a tiny, densely populated one square mile village in the Town of Monroe that was settled primarily by members of the Satmar Hasidic sect. According to 2008 U.S census figures, Kiryas Joel just notched out Carbondale, Illinois for the place with the highest poverty rate in the country.

Kriz’s article has created quite a discussion in the comments section, from outrage to nuggets of interesting information.


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