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Kiryas Joel interested in Camp LaGuardia farm landGOSHEN — Weeks after its lawsuit challenging plans to rezone the county-owned Camp LaGuardia property, the Village of Kiryas Joel is now interested in bidding on 130 acres that the county wants to sell.

In an email to County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Kiryas Joel Village Administrator Gedalye Szegedin wrote that the village plans to appeal the dismissal of its lawsuit.

Lawyers for Kiryas Joel argued that planned light industrial development of the Camp LaGuardia land — which is county-owned but located in Chester and Blooming Grove — would impact the waste water treatment capacity of the sewer district and hinder needed residential development in the area.

The judge ruled that the impacts KJ fear are “wholly speculative at this stage.”

Szegedin wrote in his email to Neuhaus: “We lost this court case due to it not being yet ripe for judicial review, we are filing an appeal soon, and we will re-file this case again when it becomes ripe. We will ask the court for help against your obvious double standard when enforcing SEQRA for KJ but ignoring it for yourselves.

“In addition,” the village administrator added, “please be on formal notice that the Village is considering putting in a bid to buy the 130 acres now for sale, please send the Village a copy of all the biding forms when available.”

According to the county, the 130 acres cannot be developed for residential house.

Kiryas Joel purportedly would use the property to expand Kosher poultry and meat enterprises.

The county has not yet made the property available for sale.

Skoufis: I am not a candidate for Orange County executive— Assemblyman James Skoufis, the Democrat from Woodbury, said he will not run for Orange County Executive this fall.

“While I’m humbled by the encouragement of many friends and supporters to consider a run for County Executive, I will not be a candidate this year,” Skoufis said in a press release issued Thursday.

“My position in state government grants me an opportunity to make a significant, positive impact on our community while working in partnership with local officials. Representing parts of two counties in the Assembly, I lend a substantial voice on regional and statewide tax, education, labor, veterans, health, economic development, public protection, environmental, insurance and transportation policy. While county government performs many important functions, its purview is narrower in scope and oftentimes subject to state approval.

“My neighbors in Orange County deserve an executive who offers bold, honest leadership, not the combination of partisan politics and play-it-safe policy that we’ve seen,” the assemblyman added. “I look forward to supporting a candidate for County Executive who offers a real, sustainable vision for our community that effectively tackles the challenging issues we face.”

Lawyer Michael Sussman has formed a committee to explore whether he should seek the Democratic nomination to run against Republican incumbent County Executive Steve Neuhaus.

Woodbury Public Library host Black History program on Feb. 18HIGHLAND MILLS — The Woodbury Public Library will host a program, “The History of Slavery in the Hudson Valley,” on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 3:30 p.m. in its Rushmore Memorial branch.

The program features Revolutionary re-enactor and Black Dirt Storyteller and founder, Eileen Stelljes. She will appear in costume of the era and has researched extensively behind the stories surrounding the little-known published history of slavery along the Lower Hudson Valley.

Space is available for up to 35 patrons. Call 845-928-6162 to register or register through EventKeeper online at

Woodbury Community Chat returns Feb. 25HIGHLAND MILLS — All Woodbury residents are invited to stop by and chat with Mayor Mike Queenan and Supervisor David Sutz on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room.

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