'The town and its residents ought to have a say'

MONROE. State Sen. James Skoufis introduces legislation to block what he calls 'hostile' village incorporations such as Seven Springs

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In response to hostile petitions to create new villages, such as the revenge-fueled Seven Springs proposal in the Town of Monroe,

State Sen. James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) introduced legislation this week to establish a more just and thorough process to establish new villages.

Skoufis’ bill would provide towns new authority to review the impact of a potential new village and requires that the incorporation is in the overall public interest.

If passed, it will take effect immediately and apply to all petitions to form a new village, including those currently pending.

The action comes in response to "hostile petitions to create new villages, such as the revenge-fueled Seven Springs proposal in the Town of Monroe," Skoufis said in the press release announcing his effort.

It also comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by the Hasidic group that wants to create the new village to force the Town of Monroe to act on their petition.

Supervisor Tony Cardone has said the town cannot act on the Seven Springs petition until all the remaining lawsuits and challenges to the annexation of land into the Village of Kiryas Joel are settled.

'The town and its residents ought to have a say'

“Seven Springs’ impacts would be severely negative to the surrounding community,” the senator said. ”When proposals to create a new village elicit impacts on taxes, infrastructure, and comprehensive plans, the town and its residents ought to have a say in the matter. Our bill does just that and ensures a more accountable process is in place for hostile initiatives like the Village of Seven Springs.”

The process

The bill is currently in the Senate Committee on Local Government; Assemblyman Frederick W. Thiele Jr., who represents the Assembly's First District in Suffolk County ,is carrying the legislation in his chamber.

Skoufis indicated the bill is a top priority.

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