Thursday, August 18, 2016

Proposal to split Monroe into two towns is cautiously reviewed 

The proposal by Village of Kiryas Joel officials to split the Town of Monroe in half creating a new Town of North Monroe is being cautiously considered.

Monroe Town Supervisor Harley Doles said he would need assurances that KJ's "massive bloc vote would never influence Town of Monroe or Monroe-Woodbury school board elections in the future." He said he does not want to see Monroe "become the next East Ramapo." That is the school district in the Spring Valley area with neighboring Hasidic communities. The Hasidic children attend classes in their own schools, but the public school board is controlled by Hasidic members.

If sufficient petition signatures are secured by residents of Kiryas Joel, the Orange County Legislature would have to approve the new town and its chairman, Stephen Brescia said they would have to take a good, hard look at it.

"If there enough support in the entire town, I would vote affirmatively, but if there is a lot of opposition to it, I would vote negative," Brescia said.

County Executive Steven Neuhaus said he will have the county's Planning and Real Property offices conduct an analysis of the proposal compared to annexation of land. A number of property owners adjacent to Kiryas Joel have already petitions to annex their hundreds of acres into the village. That is in the courts right now.

Neuhaus expects the chance the county legislature would consider the North Monroe town proposal is "slim to none."

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