Orange County to Study KJ Annexation
John Jordan | May 7, 2015
GOSHEN—The Orange County Legislature on May 7th passed a supplemental appropriation of $200,000 to the 2015 budget by a 230-1 vote, which will allow planning consultants to be hired to study the potential impact of a controversial proposed 507-acre annexation of land in the Town of Monroe by the Village of Kiryas Joel.
“I’m encouraged by this bipartisan support shown by the Orange County Legislature and greatly appreciate it,” Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said. “Like me, they realize that the proposed annexation in Kiryas Joel is an important issue and must be looked at closely. Some officials at public hearings rant and go on the attack for political gain on this issue, but what we really need is an intelligent and level-headed response to the impacts of the proposed annexation.”
Orange County’s analysis will be separate from the mandatory environmental review that Kiryas Joel and its own planning consultants are conducting for the proposed annexation of land into Kiryas Joel from the Town of Monroe. Outside bids for the project began being considered on May 8.
For over a year, Neuhaus has asked the state to fix the laws that are allowing Kiryas Joel to lead the environmental review of its aggressive plan. Unfortunately, no action has been taken by the only people who can stop it, State Legislators and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in Albany, he noted. Orange County agrees with those trying to overturn the decision to give Kiryas Joel lead agency status and will be indicating that in court papers filed later this month, Neuhaus stated.
“We want to make sure that the real implications of this annexation are known and not allow them to be swept under the rug,” Neuhaus said. “By conducting our own professional analysis, we can ensure that the review conducted by Kiryas Joel and Monroe is fact checked. I will continue to keep Monroe and the rest of Orange County informed about this issue. I care about it deeply as a Monroe resident and a Monroe-Woodbury graduate.”
At press time, a total of five firms submitted applications to assist the county in its review of the proposed land annexation.