From invasive worm woes to development discussions, the Monroe town board meeting last week featured a hodgepodge of local happenings.
Opening the session, members of the Lakeside Fire Company proposed a collaboration with the town board. Having no official documentation, the department wants to create a written plan to better serve the town’s needs.
“What could we do to help you? What could we offer you for the residents?” asked Ronald Svrchek, president of the Lakeside Fire Company, joined by fire captain Thomas Ippoliti. “Assuming nothing exists, I’d like to work with this board to establish some form of expectation should there be a major emergency,” Svrchek said.
Following this, the town board announced the 75th anniversary of the Monroe Volunteer Ambulance Corps. In honor of their service, the board offered a plaque and a photo together with volunteer members Wayne Chan and Richard Haley.
“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size but by the depth of commitment to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Dorey Houle, town councilwoman, reading the plaque’s inscription.
Later, Ward Brower III, a member of Monroe’s Conservation Commission, warned the board and residents of an environmental threat: worms. Specifically, Asian jumping worms, an invasive species are crawling their way into the area.
“It’s large...grows quickly, can reproduce without a mate; it eats everything,” Brower said. “They’re sort of silvery and have a ring near their head. If you touch them, they jump.”
Brower advised residents to report any sightings of these worms immediately and be cautious when buying nursery stock. He also explained how to properly deal with them.
“How do you get them out of the ground? Common solution is to take ground-up yellow mustard seeds, a couple ounces to a gallon of water. You pour it in the ground and it dries them out. Once they come out, you pick them up, put them in a plastic bag, put them out in the sun,” Brower said.
Capping off the meeting, a few residents commented on the Rye Hill Preserve. Andrew Lawrence, a Monroe resident, argued that the surrounding area’s historical significance must be accounted for, explaining that the land was once a battleground for soldiers who protected the Hudson Valley during the Revolutionary War.
“You keep going on Larue Road into Chester and see right where you turn down to where Bodles Opera House to was; you see a large open area off to your left. Up the hill, a grassy area, a 1775 artillery emplacement. That was us,” said Lawrence.
Jessica Saca, another resident, questioned which board exactly is the deciding vote on the project. “You indicated that it’s now in the planning board’s hand and they vote on it and they decide. When I attended the planning board meeting, they indicated that their decision is only a recommendation for you,” she said.
Tony Cardone, town supervisor, responded that the town board does not approve the project, but rather the zoning for the project. “And then it goes to the planning board and that process could take a year, two years, maybe with negotiations back and forth regarding the size, regarding the number of units, everything associated with it,” he said.
Cardone also expressed his frustration with misinformation about the board being spread online. “We’re here to give you the opportunity to speak, but please be sure your facts that are posted out there are correct,” he said.
Ward Brower III, a member of Monroe’s Conservation Commission, warned the board and residents of an environmental threat: worms. Specifically, Asian jumping worms, an invasive species are crawling their way into the area.