Officials: What to expect in 2020

Editor's note: The Photo News asked mayors, supervisors, school superintendents and state law makers to offer their takes on what the new year will bring for their communities and constituencies. Here's what they said:

30 Dec 2019 | 04:14

    Steve Welle

    Mayor, Village of Harriman

    Q. What do you expect during 2020 in terms of growth and/or development? Are there local projects on the horizon? Improvements to infrastructure? New businesses?

    A. The Village of Harriman may see some additional development in 2020. The Village View project (29 homes) has been reactivated and may receive their approvals in 2020. Although there are only a few vacant parcels remaining in the Village, recently there have been several inquiries as to what can be built on them.

    The Village will be analyzing infrastructure improvements to the water system.

    Regarding new business in the Village, there is 1 approved project on State Rt 17M and 1 under review on Commerce Dr. Although we all have heard about the possibility of a VLT casino coming to the Nepera property, there have not been any plans submitted or plans proposed to the Village.

    Q. What will be the most important and/or critical issue (or problem) you and the residents of your community will face in the new year? What can you do about it?

    A. I believe the most important issue facing the residents of the Village of Harriman and the surrounding area is sewer issues.

    OCSD#1 and the Harriman Waste Water Treatment Plant (operated by Orange County) face numerous hurdles which could cripple the area financially. The County has been working with the NYS DEC for several years in an effort to reach an agreement on discharge limits of several compounds including chlorides. The initial demand by the DEC would have cost several million dollars to implement and maintain. The HWWTP is in need of upgrades and maintenance which are contingent on reaching an agreement with the DEC. The biggest and most costly issue is that of capacity at the HWWTP. The plant is currently operating over 85% capacity requiring the County to add additional capacity. Due to the unsustainable growth in Kyrias Joel and Palm Tree, the cost to add enough capacity to satisfy this growth will cost tens of million dollars. Unfortunately because we are in a “district” all district users will be burdened with the cost while not benefiting from it.

    We all need to communicate with our County Legislators and County Executive that we do not want to be taxed unfairly for sewer capacity we do not need.

    Tony Cardone

    Supervisor, Town of Monroe

    1. What do you expect during 2020 in terms of growth and/or development? Are there local projects on the horizon? Improvements to infrastructure? New businesses?

    We do expect some growth based on the various projects before our Planning Board. The Town Hall renovation, our largest infrastructure project, is close to 50-60% completed. Some aspects of this project include: a new Court Room, Town Board meeting room, Security System, Conference Room, and an ADA compliant building. In addition, Senior Center ADA improvements and a new HVAC system, made possible through Community Development Block Grant funding, should be completed by May. In 2020, we will continue to pursue grant funding that is relevant to projects on the horizon and also begin a study regarding a new Highway/Dial-A- Bus Garage. Our LED Street Light Conversion Project has commenced, beginning with a survey of street lights, encompassing current lights both on our Town roads in addition to Town owned facilities. We are excited about the anticipated cost savings to Town residents as well as the flexibility to adjust lighting based on specific needs.

    It has been a year since Palm Tree separated from the Town. We are proud to say the loss in tax revenue has had minimal impact on our taxpayers. Throughout 2020 we will continue to streamline processes, engage in Intermunicipal Agreements and seek other cost-saving initiatives while working with the Village to bring new businesses to Monroe.

    2. What will be the most important and/or critical issue (or problem) you and the residents of your community will face in the new year? What can you do about it?

    The unfunded mandates of The Law Reform Bill present many issues for not only the Town of Monroe, but all Towns and Villages across the state. With no bail for most crimes, the burden of its implementation is placed on taxpayers from the lack of funding from New York State. A number of aspects of the Law Bill contribute to this. I have not spoken to one municipal leader who has had a positive remark about the passing of this bill, a strong indication that changes to this bill are necessary. Hopefully our New York State representatives in Albany will see this as a huge blunder and promptly create a new stand-alone bill to correct the flaws in the new system.

    Gedalye Szegedin

    Town Clerk, Town of Palm Tree

    Q. What do you expect during 2020 in terms of growth and/or development? Are there local projects on the horizon? Improvements to infrastructure? New businesses?

    A. The Palm Tree / Kiryas Joel Community will continue its natural internal growth in 2020 at the same rate as until now, but it's going to be up to the leaders of Orange County to adopt policies to provide for the ability to have the needed housing supply within the PT/KJ boundaries, so families can settle in housing within PT/KJ, and stop to push policies that forces a KJ overflow into the surrounding communities.

    We are hopeful that the County Leadership will realize the negative results of their failed policies of the past and choose a new direction.

    There are new residential housing projects and economic development projects in progress within PT/KJ to accommodate the needs of the community.

    We are working hard to complete our water connection to NY City water supply system so we can stop drawing water from our groundwater wells thereby protecting and preserving the local aquifers and its water supply.

    Q. What will be the most important and/or critical issue (or problem) you and the residents of your community will face in the new year? What can you do about it?

    A. The safety and security of our residents is the top priority, the new threats emerging is frightening as we have just witnessed in Jersey City, we are working hand in hand with all Law Enforcement Agencies with jurisdiction to make sure our community is safe.

    Of course Water and Sewer is an existential issue for any community, we will work with the State and the County to make sure it’s available, especially Sewer being a regional issue as this area is all within the County Sewer District, we anticipate working with county leaders and all member community's to make sure capacity is available for all district users.

    Ken English

    Tuxedo Town Supervisor

    Q. What do you expect during 2020 in terms of growth and/or development? What will be the most important and/or critical issue (or problem) you and the residents of your community will face in the new year? Are there local projects on the horizon?

    A. he Related Group’s Tuxedo Farms project is THE critical development for Tuxedo’s future. Our new Town Board is eager to work together to envision a pathway forward to bring this essential development to fruition. When completed, it will double the number of residents and add a whole new community to our town. I’ll be meeting with the project’s leader, Andrew Dance, Senior Vice President, in early January.

    A landmark Tuxedo property will be opening in the early spring. Tuxedo Park resident Michael Bruno will bring his vision and commitment to quality design to a reimagined “IGA” building in our historic Hamlet area. If you’ve visited his Valley Rock complex in Sloatsburg, then you know why I’m so excited.

    Recently opened Steve’s Wood Oven Pizza will expand with improved parking and an additional building for storage and party space. Steve Germano has created an amazing restaurant that serves artisan pizza and Italian specialties in an atmosphere that will help spur Tuxedo’s developing hospitality and eco-tourism goals.

    Tuxedo’s Duck Cedar Plaza features 25,000 square feet of retail space, a 12-foot-wide porch with columns and gorgeous railings, and beautiful signage. It’s loaded with fabulous businesses such as the now famous, Dottie Audrey’s restaurant, a new urgent care, a yoga wellness center, financial services, a pet supplies boutique, a Christian Chapel, and more. It’s just about fully occupied.

    With funding secured by Councilperson Michele Lindsay, a $100,000 grant by Sen. Jen Metzger’s Office, will provide a new roof for Town Hall, and another $75,000 from a Community Development Block Grant will provide ADA access ramps and doors.

    We’ll be working closely with Bill Fioravanti, the Orange County Economic Development Director, to partner with stakeholders like the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the NY/NJ Trail Conference, our Tuxedo Chamber of Commerce, State and local officials, and Tuxedo residents, to position Tuxedo as the gateway to the Hudson Valley and welcome visitors and new businesses. I’m very excited about our future.

    Frank J Palermo

    Supervisor, Town of Woodbury

    Q. What do you expect during 2020 in terms of growth and/or development? Are there local projects on the horizon? Improvements to infrastructure? New businesses?

    A. Woodbury continues to grow and 2020 will be no different. We have a residential community that is rapidly growing, five hotels looking to come to Woodbury as well as the expansion of the Woodbury Commons.

    Q. What will be the most important and/or critical issue (or problem) you and the residents of your community will face in the new year? What can you do about it?

    The town will be planning and looking to build a new pool at the John P Burke Memorial Pool, Finish the improvements to the Town Court Building and repave and redesign the Woodbury Police Department parking lot.