Mayor Neil Dwyer
Village of Monroe
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 Monroe has seen a significant amount of growth in 2019 including the renovation of the old Kmart building into a well-designed and more aesthetically pleasing Planet Fitness and AutoZone. This project, years in the making, has improved the parking and traffic flow in that shopping center. Kudos to the developer and Planning Board for their cooperation and successful completion of such a massive project. The very extensive renovation of the interior and exterior of the old M & T Bank building and the addition of three new successful businesses on Lake Street, Love Bites Chocolates, Amity Beauty and Waterways which is a bath fixture showroom, have brightened the Downtown. We have also seen the phases 1 and 2 of the 181-unit Smith Farm development on Gilbert Street.
The revitalization and development will continue for 2020 with new projects in the downtown and surrounding areas. We expect to see a new Chabad of Orange County across from the Smith Farm development. Spring Street and Franklin Avenue will be brightened by a project currently before the Planning Board. Spring Hill Apartments will feature 1- and 2-bedroom market rate units that we expect to be occupied by a younger demographic who will support our downtown businesses. We also expect to see two new businesses open in the Village. Javajos Coffee Bar has been working tirelessly on their new Beer and Wine Bar and a new lunch venue serving comfort food is expected to open next to Love Bites. Both will be welcome additions to the dedicated businesses on Lake Street and Millpond Parkway.
As part of our commitment to our infrastructure, the Village has invested in a new water software product. The Water Department will have the ability to identify and report conditions on all our catch basins, waterlines from service to mains and valve systems, hydrants, manholes, etc. using a GPS system with cloud storage. With this saved data we can review our infrastructure and tailor our water budget each year allowing for proper planning of short- and long-term goals.
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. As expected with all this development, our most critical issue is traffic in and through our village. The Village of Monroe is a gateway and bypass for commuters among our five adjacent municipalities. In an effort to reduce travel times or avoid the Harriman toll plaza motorists traverse our four main roadways which continues to be a major concern for us.
The Board of Trustees have engaged with a traffic engineering firm to work with us to identify traffic patterns and the synchronization of traffic lights to provide for proper traffic flow. The past six months have been spent drafting and reviewing designs which have been sent to the NYS DOT for their feedback. Additionally, we have reviewed many of our roadways and proposed a new local law aimed at closing roadways to through traffic and resetting others to one-way traffic.
This winter we will be putting out to bid the realignment of Stage Road, Carpenter Place and Lake Street which will increase safety for pedestrians and motorists alike, as well as provide a better traffic flow that will be more visually appealing. The project will also include modifications to the Millpond Parkway and Lake Street intersection with improvements to traffic flow through lane changes.
Timothy P. Egan
Mayor, Village of Harriman
A. In 2020 the Village of Woodbury will experience its largest period of growth since the Woodbury Common arrived in 1985. In the planning and development stages are the most recent Woodbury Common expansion, six hotel projects, and other additional retail space with restaurants and a hotel/convention center.
In addition, the Gardens at Harriman Station project is picking up steam. This transit-oriented development project will add 1.500 homes near and around the Harriman Train Station as well as more retail space dedicated to this new community.
For infrastructure we are currently developing an additional well to keep ahead of demand, and continuing to upgrade and maintain our sewage facilities. The village highway department has a busy season of road paving and maintenance ahead as well.
B. The most important issue we face is providing water and sewer resources to existing residents and businesses, while also providing services for new growth. Our Planning Board, ZBA and Village Board as well as our engineers, and village department heads are closely monitoring the status and demands of this new growth, and we will be working hard to protect our natural resources. We look forward to hearing from residents at public hearings and meetings to let us know their opinions and thoughts on agenda items to help make the village a better place.
Editor's note: The Q&A continues on page 8.